The Mask Review
The Mask was originally released in 1994 to overwhelming acclaim. It was such a unique visual feast and dipped into territory that had never previously been attempted that it soon became a landmark movie in the area of visual effects just as Star Wars in 1977 and Terminator 2 in 1991 did before it. It also helped launch the career of its two lead actors, Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz.
The Mask is based upon the comic book character of the same name produced by Dark Horse Comics. Unlike the dark, violent, brooding character of the comics though, Jim Carrey's take is a much more playful and mischievous one. The story revolves around a mask of mythological origins which has the ability to give whoever wears it incredible powers. Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey) finds the mask and discovers that in stark contrast to his usual boring, wet, weak persona, when he wears the mask he suddenly becomes a crazy, confident prankster bringing the laws of physics crashing down and a wacky cartoonish world to life.
As The Mask, Ipkiss gets himself into all kinds of misadventures and after robbing a bank, is pursued by both the police and the bad guys who were also just about to rob the same bank. Cameron Diaz plays the love interest in this, her first acting role and pulls it off admirably, looking absolutely stunning to boot!
It has to be said that this movie's success is down virtually entirely to Carrey. The role was written for him, almost literally and his ability to ad-lib is bordering on genius. Yes the effects are very good, by today's standards they may look a little rough around the edges but not enough to detract from their purpose and certainly when the movie was first released, were cutting edge. But Jim Carrey carries this film along at such a pace that you can't help but enjoy the ride. Many people find Carrey a little too much and over the top. I too find this to be the case when he is not funny. Let me explain. He has done a few movies where possibly the scripts have not been as good as they could have been and in these cases, he is restricted and consequently he comes across as just silly, but not very funny. But The Mask, as too his follow up movie Dumb & Dumber, have such good scripts and Directors that gives Carrey the freedom to be creative and improvise that he is genuinely hilarious and makes The Mask the success it is. Don't believe me? Watch the sequel which noticeably lacks Jim Carrey although follows a similar story and then tell me I'm wrong!
The Mask is a great film and is destined to become a classic.