Directed By: Chuck Russell
Written By: Michael Fallon and Mark Verheiden
Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is your every day guy, who has dreams and hopes of doing greater things, but a sense of inferiority and a fear of the unknown holding him back. When he discovers his dream woman (Cameron Diaz) is mixed up with the wrong kind of guy (Peter Greene) he festers in frustration over his inability to do anything about it. Until one night, by the guidance of curiosity and moonlight he discovers a Mask. Little does he know that it belonged to Loki, the god of mischief. Only when Stanley begins to have blackouts does it become clear to him that the rumours of a strange new character running through town is actually himself, when he puts the Mask on. Does he wear the mask and try to get the girl and take down the bad guys, or do it as Stanley and without the Mask?
This is the film that I would consider as Jim Carrey’s real breakout role into mainstream comedy and looking back it’s no surprise. The Mask was a superhero comedy that meshed a fun premise, a hilarious and smart script, and the brilliant physical comedy of Jim Carrey. Some of the most fun one liners, hilarious moments of awkwardness, and unexpected twists make this movie special.
The contrast Jim Carrey plays of the mild tempered Stanley Ipkiss, who has a fondness for strangely patterned pajama’s, with the Green faced creature who lives out Stanley’s inner most urges and desires in real life. Only when the Mask starts taking things too far, does the inner conflict of Stanley really begin to show. Two character’s that are essentially the same person, with one that is full of a multitude of testostorone and the other full of kindness and sentimentality, it is a most engaging dual creation by the same man.
The makeup used for the Mask, with the enormous grinning sarcastic teeth were perfectly just over the top. With loud, bright colored suits coupled with the lovely beauty of at the time new star Cameron Diaz, this character is absolutely unstoppable.
With a script that had really interesting characters that were each as unpredictable as each other and made the movie something more than the shock and awe of Jim Carrey’s fantastical performance. With an explosive and fun soundtrack playing in the back round, The Mask was a movie that never stopped to catch it’s breath.
Fourteen years later and I still remember seeing this movie in the theatre and having the sense that this was something magical that would last forever, not to mention really found an even greater appreciation for the comic talent of Jim Carrey. It still boiled down to being a fun and hilarious movie that had some unforgettable quotable scenes that I use even today. The Mask is a gem of originality and fun. Three and a Half out of Four Stars.