Someone has issued another challenge for me and I never back down on one! So thank for Charlotte Kotterman because now I finally get to talk about my favorite comedy from the 90s as well as my favorite comedy ever made. Jim Carrey is my all time favorite comedic actor, even in bad movies (Series of Unfortunate Events) he manages to be one of the best parts about them. Ever wonder what would happen if Jim Carrey played a superhero? Well you can watch Kick-Ass 2 for that but before that there was the 1994 classic known simply as The Mask.
Before Marvel came along to mix action and comedy, there was the Mask (based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name) and I absolutely adore this movie. I can watch this so many times and never get tired of it. The biggest reason why this movie works so well is because of Jim Carrey himself: I am convinced that only he could pull off this role with his extremely flexible face and body and great work with doing voices. I mean you could try to get another comedian but...
Yeah chances are. it's probably going to fail...and be terrifying. But its not just the goofy cartoonish side of Carrey that works, you need somebody who can pull off seeming like a regular joe and Carrey does just that. When he's regular Stanley Ipkiss, he pulls it off especially in some dramatic scenes and he of course pulls off the cartoonish Mask character with flying colors.
The story is:
In the fictional city of Edge City, banker Stanley Ipkiss is having a very very bad day; his borrowed car breaks down, he is kicked out of a club with embarrassing results, his land lady scolds him, and his boss is a pain in the tush. Luckily this all changes when he finds a strange wooden mask floating in the ocean and upon putting it on, it magically transforms him into a cartoonish being that can literally do anything.
That's the most I can say without spoilers, the rest of this article will be spoiler filled so you've been warned.
The concept alone is awesome in my mind because of a few reasons:
1. Relatable Hero. Come on, we've all wanted to just lash out on those people who have irked us for a very long time.
2. An Unexplained Magical Item. The movie only shows a chest being broken open and the mask floating to the surface, that's really all the explanation we get for it. The rest is all speculation from different character. The sequel ruined this by actually introducing the beings that created the mask thus removing all mystery to it.
3. The world they created is perfect: similar to Gotham City it combines both modern day with 1920s-1940s with its cars, clothing, and buildings. In my opinion, I've always loved older settings but even better I like combined settings. It's why I love movies like Captain America the First Avenger.
While the character of the Mask pulls off plenty of laughs with just his cartoonish abilities, it wouldn't work if there wasn't clever jokes to go along with the character and trust me there are plenty. From when he first puts on the mask, the park scene, and the climax there are always witty jokes that I quote all the time. Writer Mike Werb definitely knew how to adapt the Mask's crazy humor and have it work with Carrey's skills as an actor.
However Stanley Ipkiss/Mask is not the only character in the movie, you have Tina played by Cameron Diaz in her debut role who at first is just eye candy for the audience but you slowly see her character grow. It's not the best love interest in cinema but not bad at all, I mean I've sat through Mary Jane Watson and anything is better than her.
There are the detectives who are trying to bring down the Mask, Kellaway and Doyle who provide some great comedy, especially in the park scene. Pretty cliche characters that are used well: the one straight forward cop who's partnered up with a clumsy cop who always wants to eat.
By far their funniest scene comes in the park when they are searching the Mask's pockets for evidence and come across a picture of Kellaway's wife.
The villain Dorian Tyrell played by Peter Greene is a decent villain, a gangster trying to rise to the top of the criminal underworld. At first he's just the typical villain but the moment he gets the Mask, it provides a villain who does a much better combination of comedy and villainy than say Ultron.
Now I've talked about the comedy, how is the action part of the movie? While there is not much action there is enough to make it satisfying. The climax as the Coco Bongo Club is brilliantly paced with some more funny jokes such as the Clint Eastwood reference and the dog wearing the mask as well as some actual tension.
Speaking of, this movie does a great job combining both practical and CGI effects. A lot of Jim Carrey's actions are just his own but when there is CGI, its mostly working alongside Carrey rather than replacing him altogether.
Overall, I'd say that this movie is well directed, perfectly acted, well written, and is lack of a better word...
You know I couldn't resist. If you haven't seen the Mask, then I highly recommend it. I give the movie a 9/10 or a Solid Platinum. So now I must issue this challenge to a few more people:
Dana Lynne Abeln
You're all up! Hope you all enjoyed this article! Tell your thoughts in the comments below!