“Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask.”

Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden, Mike Werb
Staring: Jim Carrey, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck
Release Date: July 29, 1994

The Mask (1994) is something. It most certainly is a movie that does exist. My girlfriend asked me what I thought of it after we finished it, and all I could say was, “well, that was something. Not sure what, but it was something.”

Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a lowly man working at a bank without much excitement in life. His downtrodden life flips upside down when Tina Caryle (Cameron Diaz) comes in and lights the world on fire with her red dress. From there it is a rip-roaring “Am I dreaming? What is happening?” adventure with maniac events and even zanier characters.

Ipkiss finds himself a magic mask that works only at night and is inspired by the Norse God Loki and his mischievous reputation. This mask allows Ipkiss to become anyone or anything, and it allows him to express confidence he never knew he possessed. His new animated self catches the eyes of Tina, and that irks…Dorian (Peter Greene). The power hungry mobster and runner of the most popular Edge City club is set on vengeance against The Mask, but in the end, the zany magic wins out. New love prevails and Ipkiss (his true self) and Caryle drive off into the sunset.

Carrey dives deep into his bag with The Mask. His portrayal of Ipkiss, which is a great movie name, is animated and flexible…literally. The facial expressions are cranked up to 11 and the visual effects of the movie enhance the emoting he is doing. Carrey really does have a gift for being in the spotlight, and this was in a time where he was embracing it.

Great little tidbit from Carrey’s performance is that he improvised the condom coming out of the pocket joke. A classic adult joke in a movie that can be shown to kids.

Then there is Cameron Diaz. After this movie, I get it. She is absolutely SMOKIN’ indeed. When she walks into the picture with that red dress, I get the hysteria behind it.

What was arguably one of the funniest parts of the The Mast, though unintentional, was the dancing scene between Ipkiss and Caryle. Director Chuck Russell and the editing crew did there mighty best to not make the stunt-doubles seem too obvious. They failed on that mission. They achieved in making a movie that appealed to a lot of people and had many memorable scenes, but also a lot of poorly constructed ones.

The editing in The Mask is bad. There are multiple continuity errors that are easily noticeable in the movies. Whether it be clocks that aren’t synched up, damage done to a building that vanishes, or the aforementioned dance scene. It is tough scene. It goes from “Ask Peggy” to “Dear Peggy.” Guys are reloading twice…there is just a lot of them.

Will most people care about these things, or notice them at all? No, most likely not.

The funnest part is how crazy “The Mask” acts out when it is showing emotion. The jaw hitting the floor, the heart palpitations, the dog turning into a greek beast of war and the outfits switching with the save bravado of Carrey’s deliveries. It is hard to look away when The Mask is on the scene, even it not all of it makes sense.

Also fun fact, The Mask was nominated for Best Visual Facts at the 1995 Academy Awards. Never would have guessed that! The effects are an essential part of the movie and are comical in the best way. Just would not have guessed a movie like The Mask would get the Academy’s eyes.

The Mask is an experience. For some it may be a cult classic comedy masterpiece…and for others it can offer some laughs but nothing lasting. I am happy to know that there are people who will enjoy this, and those who cherish it. It deserves it, but it is just not my audience.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)

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