Thursday, 27 December 2012
1994’s The Mask is a film loaded with personal history. As a formerly proud owner of the movie’s laserdisc I have watched it many times – to the point of knowing its numerous one lines by heart. It wasn’t only I that loved it; my brother liked it so much it clearly influenced his decision to get a Jack Russell puppy. That puppy became a proper member of the family (he died of old age some five years ago). Roll back to the present day: I thought the time has come to acquaint my five year old with this old friend of a movie.
I am no fan of Jim Carrey, but in the case of The Mask he fits the role like a green magical mask to the face of the nice guy that never gets the girl, Stanley Ipkiss. Ipkiss works in a boring bank job to make a living. One day this hot woman (Cameron Diaz, for whom The Mask was her first big role; you might have heard of her since) walks in. The woman picks on Ipkiss to help her open a bank account because she identifies him as the lacklustre dude she can pick on as she gathers information for a bank robbery planned by her boyfriend, Dorian (The movie’s baddie). It turns out she is also the resident star of the hottest ticket in town, the Coco Bongo Club, the club Ipkiss is thrown out of. Indeed, Ipkiss gets screwed on all sides: at the club, at the garage, with the girls… What hope lies for him?
Hope comes in the shape of a mask he stumbles upon, a mask that unleashes the true person inside in comic style fashion and thus turns its wearer into a cartoon style superhero. With the mask, Ipkiss gets the girl and the baddies; but is it him or the masked figure that achieves all this? Regardless, both the baddies and the police are not about to take things lying down. Eventually, the burden of saving the day is laid on Ipkiss’ Jack Russell dog, Milo.
The Mask is not the most philosophical movie ever; it is easy watching. But it is cool, funny and original. It is a live shot cartoon story, reminding me a lot of both Aladdin and Shrek in the humor and musical performances.
You may argue The Mask is rather silly. It is fair to argue that by today’s standards its originality faded away, copied by many a cartoon; it is also fair to say that its once state of the art digital effect appear basic by today’s standards. I will argue in contrast that regardless, The Mask is still offering fine comedy with a geek of a hero at its core – a hero with whom I probably share a lot in common, starting from that basic drive to fool around.
Best scene: Milo the dog gets to wear the mask. Hilarious!
Overall: Simply charming and still worthy of 4 out of 5 stars.