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The Mask
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Mask More at IMDbPro »

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114 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

Incredible success when seen as a surrealistic cinematic pastiche

10/10
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City
22 February 2005

Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is a bit of a dorky pushover. For example, he buys hot concert tickets to try to get a date with a fellow bank employee he's been pining after, but she easily scams him into keeping the tickets for herself, and he is too weak to publicly object. But when he comes across an ancient mask of Lodi long ago discarded by Vikings who tried to bury the "troublesome object" at the "end of the Earth", he discovers it has the power to unlock his true self--suave, smooth-talking, manic, a bit dangerous, and a hopeless romantic.

The Mask was a perfect vehicle for Jim Carrey. It not only allowed provided the perfect justification to flamboyantly engage in his rubber-faced antics in a manner even more over-the-top than what he'd become famous for, but it provided an opportunity to stretch his acting chops towards a more serious side at just the right time in his career, paving the way for later work such as Man on the Moon (1999), The Majestic (2001) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).

The success of the film wholly depends on Carrey, as he has to sell his characters' frenzied insanity so that it's believable as a reflection of Stanley's inner self while at the same time likable but teetering on the edge of becoming obnoxiously overbearing. Of course, the amazing special effects and make-up help, as well as the clever script and more than competent directing and cinematography, but with the wrong actor in the part, the whole affair could have easily collapsed. The other cast members are fine in supporting roles, with Cameron Diaz coming across as being almost otherworldly beautiful, but Carrey is rarely off-screen, and rightly so.

The Mask is notable for both spoofing almost the whole history of cinema while at the same time respectfully paying homage to it. The audience is treated to everything from silent film slapstick to lavish musical numbers (with excellent songs), frenzied Tex Avery-styled animation to gangster film suspense. On its surface, the film is a crazy, often funny, hyperactively paced cinematic pastiche.

The subtext about identity and public faces versus private selves is interesting, but not the focus. It would be fine to explore further, but to do so in this particular film would have taken too much time away from Carrey's surrealistic tour de force. Besides, we've had later films where that subtext has been closer to the heart of a story, such as Catwoman (2004), and where it was very thoroughly and competently dealt with.

Many aspects of The Mask differed from the comic book source material, but this is a case where the changes led to such an excellent result that most people have forgotten about the source material and primarily remember Carrey's performance in this film as definitive.

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101 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest comedies I have ever seen

10/10
Author: mareksir from Czech Republic
26 August 2005

Actually, I saw The Mask by accident. I wet to the cinema with my friend to watch something. When we arrived at the cinema and saw the poster showing The Mask we did not feel like watching it. But as it was a long way home we decided to go and see the film. And we enjoyed the movie so much that we decided to go to see it next day again. The first time we watched it we did not catch everything as our eyes were flooded with tears of laugh and our bellies hurt form laugh cramps. The story is really catching and Jim Carry is simply fabulous. The plot makes you think what it would be like if you had the mask and what you would do with it. Stanley Ippkiss in his funny quest made me be happy with what I am and what I have. The Mask is undoubtedly one of my most favorite comedies and it has a steady place on my video shelf.

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101 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

Awesome!

10/10
Author: Pimpin` Critic 69 from Your Critic of Critics
11 November 2002

This is easily Jim Carrey's greatest picture! Not only that but in my opinion this was one of the funniest films of the `90s. This is such a fun movie that you can see it 10 times and it's still as fun as the first time. The film stars Jim Carrey in another amazing performance and the BEAUTIFUL Cameron Diaz in her debut.

Also this is kind of like the Rocky Horror Picture Show of my generation. I remember Halloween 1995 when my friends and I dressed up as the characters from this movie and did the Cuban Beat! :)

4(****)out of 4(****)stars

An ENTERTAINING MASTERPIECE!!!!

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75 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

"The Mask" is, and forever will be, SMOKIN'!

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
19 September 2005

"The Mask" was the movie that introduced my family to Jim Carrey. And we all thought that it was great. Carrey plays unlucky bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss, who one night finds an ancient mask. When he puts it on, he turns into sort of a cartoon character; think Roger Rabbit on acid. The really great thing about the movie is that they just turn Carrey loose. Anything that you can imagine him doing, he does here. A particularly funny scene is when the police tell him to freeze, you'd better believe that he freezes! All in all, Jim Carrey's humor will never get old. He may have given his all-time funniest performance in "The Mask".

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42 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Somebody stop that Jim!

8/10
Author: DarthBill from United States
13 February 2004

This was the movie that got me into Jim Carrey (though I'd seen him on "In Living Color" a couple of times), and it's still my favorite, though Ace Ventura #1 was also kind of funny.

The great thing about this film is that Jim is actually really restrained all throughout, only going into goof ball mode when he puts on the Mask. He's pretty likable and engaging here, not quite as prone to irritating some audience members like he did in "Batman Forever" and "Ace Ventura #2". Cameron Diaz... my God, she looked SO GOOD here, how have her looks faded so quickly since this film? She looks so... plastic now, kind of like a giant Barbie doll.

One of the big standout scenes in this one is Jim singing "Cuban Pete" to escape all the cops. Not that the other Mask gags are unfunny, but Cuban Pete really stands out. Too bad the cartoon Mask didn't have a little more restraint to it.

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

A Fine comedy treat

7/10
Author: mjw2305 from England
22 January 2007

Carrey is on top mad-cap form in the Mask, he plays Stanley Ipkiss, a boring Mr. nice guy with a longing for more excitement and success in his life. When he finds a relic of an ancient mask, he gets slightly more than he could have dreamt of; he becomes a cartoonish superhero and at last he can live out his desires; or not!

This film also introduced the very beautiful Cameron Diaz, and what man can forget her first screen appearance as she breezes in to the bank in all her splendour.

Hilariously funny, cracking special effects and a thoroughly entertaining story, the Mask is a winner people, and it's an absolute must-see for everyone who likes a bit of Jim Carrey madness.

7/10

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46 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

How to cast Jim Carrey

8/10
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia
19 December 1999

It's hard to use Jim Carrey in a movie. He's very good at his rapid-fire mimicry routine, but how can it ever be anything other than a diversion from both character and story? (Very rarely is it a pleasant diversion. `Ace Ventura' was unendurable.) And yet, what else can you do with him?

The `Mask' solves the problem so neatly it almost cheats. The story is ABOUT someone with a double life - so by day, Carrey does all the character and story stuff, and by night, wearing the mask, he does his stand-up schtick. The two are as integrated as they need to be. It's pulled off with such an air of innocence I can't possibly complain. SOME of the clichés (those to do with the police especially) are so very worn out that even the most thorough of movie-goers is surprised to find them still alive; but the writer seems to have been honestly unaware that they were clichés, so that's okay.

I was told that the film is saturated with animation in-jokes. I couldn't spot very many. Stanley-with-the-mask has the soul of a Tex Avery cartoon character: I suspect that's all there is to it. The computer animation, or the computer-enhancement of Carrey's animation, is tastefully done. It never looks pasted over the top of the footage the way so much computer animation does. (`The Mask' failed to win an Oscar in the special effects category - like so many other more deserving films, it was beaten by `Forrest Gump'.) The Cuban dance numbers are irresistible, as is Stanley's pet dog. Sure, `The Mask' is no masterpiece, but it's a clever, charming film that richly deserved its runaway success.

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

one of Carrey's best

Author: Special-K88
15 April 2002

Broad, inventive comedy stars Carrey as a repressed, down-on-his-luck banker whose once uneventful life is dramatically changed when he uncovers a mysterious ancient mask that brings out his innermost desires. After developing a close bond and gradual affection for a sexy songbird and prospective client (Diaz), he then tangles with her ruthless, lowlife gangster boyfriend (Greene). Lively, imaginative comedy with big laughs and nifty effects that almost make you feel like you're watching a live-action cartoon. The violence borders on extreme, but Carrey is in peak form and provides more than enough classic moments to make up for it. A must for Carrey fans. ***

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28 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

This movie is a scream!!!

9/10
Author: Atreyu_II from The world of artists
7 July 2007

If you ask me, 'The Mask' is Jim Carrey's best work ever. It's his best movie and the only one of him I find really great. It's not a movie without its faults, but it's original, imaginative, creative and has very good comical gags. It's a classic. Or, to use only one word to describe it: "Smokin!"

Jim Carrey can be two things: either a really funny comedian either a comedian who does his job well but overacts, although no one can deny that there is a genius inside this man. In 'The Mask' he is awesome. I consider this one of his best actings of all time, if not his very best.

In 'The Mask' Jim Carrey portrays Stanley Ipkiss, a clerk in a nice Edge City bank. He is a very nice and easy-going guy with great sense of humor (which matches his funny name). He is «the nicest guy», yet shy and somewhat depressed and he does not have much success in his job and personal life. He doesn't have much friends, except for his co-worker Charlie and his loyal dog Milo (a Jack Russell Terrier). Stanley likes to watch cartoons (particularly a Tex Avery one with a whistling wolf), decorates his apartment with items from these cartoons and he has the most unusual pajama :)

Jim Carrey also portrays the title character (The Mask), which is the other side of Stanley Ipkiss... or at least what he wants to be but can't be without the mask. The mask gives him superpowers and courage to do things he wouldn't be able to do without it. For example, he can dance like Fred Astaire, Gumby and Barishnikov (all together) - and he can flirt with the gorgeous Tina Carlyle. The Mask is a cartoonish figure that can do incredible things.

This film is a crazy comedy, a film that surpasses the limits of imagination. Yet, despite its cartoonish humor, it also works well as a thriller and has a dark atmosphere. At the same time, this movie is clearly inspired (in many ways) on several cartoons, such as the Looney Tunes, Tex Avery's 'Red Hot Riding Hood' and even the live action/animation movie 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'. The movie also has great sceneries and backgrounds, as well as great lines, nice special effects and its magic.

Cameron Diaz in this movie... my goodness! Is there any guy who wouldn't fall in love with her in this film? She was really a stunning beauty in this film. She was absolutely at her hottest and most sensual here: she was more curvy, sexier, so beautiful and her smile was even more enchanting. Her role as the gorgeous and loving Tina Carlyle was a great acting debut for her. Plus, she was great in this role. In fact, she was a better actress in her early acting years than in more recent years. And she got slimmer with time.

Cameron Diaz also sings very well in this film, with a husky, jazz-like voice. What a difference comparing to 'My Best Friend's Wedding', where she sings terribly. She was 21 years old in 'The Mask' but she surely looked older than that. She is really like a live-action version of Jessica Rabbit in this film.

Other funny characters (along with Stanley Ipkiss) are Charlie Schumacher, Milo, Detective Doyle and the impatient Lt. Mitch Kellaway.

Most of the soundtrack is great: the opening theme and other instrumental themes during the movie and even the cheerful songs "Hey Pachuco" and "Cuban Pete" - this last one is sung by Jim Carrey himself in a hilarious part where he (as The Mask) dances and makes the policemen dance either. It really makes one wanna dance.

Most actors are pretty good in their roles: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Ben Stein, Amy Yasbeck, Richard Jeni, Nancy Fish, Jim Doughan and Max.

Max is the name of the dog that portrays Milo. The intelligence of that dog deserves to be mentioned. This breed of dog is known for its intelligence and loyalty, but also for being lovable, playful and stubborn dogs. Milo is all of that. Plus, Milo seems to understand everything they tell him. When his master is giving him orders, he moves his head as if he is understanding every word that is said. Plus, he climbs a considerably tall wall to rescue Stanley and we can see in his eyes when he is feeling fear, joy and sadness, for example. What a fabulous dog actor!

The loaner... what a piece of junk! That car makes its own scenes hilarious! Why? Simply because of what it is: a charger in a junkyard.

Jim Carrey makes this movie as good as it is. I believe that this movie couldn't possibly be this good without the great Jim Carrey. This role was made for him and couldn't be played by other than him.

This should definitely be on Top 250.

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43 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

S-s-s-s-mokin'!

7/10
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK
23 December 2002

Jim Carrey plays Stanley Ipkiss, a "zero" as the film tagline says, who never speaks his mind about anything. The typical mild-mannered guy.

After Stanley finds an enchanted mask under a bridge one day, though, everything changes. He goes from "zero to hero". But first, he plays around with his new found menacing powers.

Calling the mask a hero is like calling Hitler kind of a good guy. The mask makes Stanley rob banks, scare people and more. He's half-hero.

"The Mask" is not great, but it fits Carrey's film persona quite well. He bounces off the wall (literally) and just doesn't sit still. Typical Carrey.

If you're not one for loser-to-hero films or wacky slapstick, don't see "The Mask". Otherwise, it's worth a peek.

3/5 stars

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