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1990s, Comedy - Romantic, Fantasy - Superheroes

The Mask (1994)

Mask

Duration 1h 41m Rating (UK) PG
Source of story An idea possibly developed from a comic book of the same name, but which had a different theme.
Director Chuck Russell
Writers/Script Mike Werb (story Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden)
Starring Jim Carrey, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Cameron Diaz, Max (the dog)

Elevator Pitch: A put upon bank clerk, Stanley Ipkiss, finds a mask in the river, which, when he puts it on ,turns him into a comedic superhero, capable of pulling a bank job, and impressing the girls, particularly Tina Carlyle, the singer at the Coco Bongo. But both the gang boss and the police are on his case, and when he is imprisoned and the gangster gets the mask, he needs the help of his Jack Russell, Milo, to escape, but can he get the mask back in time to save the day.

Content: Nothing to offend although a used condom is seen once. Stanley is given a hard time in the bank, he finds the mask and there follow a number of set pieces as he appears as a bank robber, a dancer, a French lover  and an assassin, all of them cartoonish and violent in a way. There is gunfire, and some threatening stuff as the villain gets to wear the mask, and some fun when the dog wears it. The dog also saves the day more than once.

A View: To start with I found Jim Carrey’s personification as The Mask too frantic but either I got used to it, or it was toned down a bit as the film progressed. It was quite well liked by the critics and made a load of money by 1994 standards, establishing, it is said, Carrey as a star. The dog was terrific, almost on its own making the film watchable, so probably a watch for nothing on a Sunday evening with a couple of beers.

Additional Info: The director was at odds with the studio who wanted a more established female lead, rather than Cameron Diaz. It was her first film appearance.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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