The Master of Disguise (2002) Poster

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johnmichael-210 October 2006
I was lucky enough that I got to watch this film on a road trip in someone else's car, as opposed to wasting 90 minutes of my own time (as well as a couple bucks). If you are forced to watch this film, that is probably the only time you should waste watching it. It tries to be funny, but fails miserably. I believe one review I read of it said that it disguised its funny moments better than the main character disguised himself. Sadly, that's the complete truth. Adults, you will find nothing here that's amusing, unless you're really into totally lame, flat jokes. Kids, you will neither find anything amusing in the movie, as the actors are not funny enough to entice any one of any age. The direction was also poor, and the crude humor was (as is in most movies) pointless and dumb. I felt embarrassed just watching it. Skip this movie, and you will miss nothing.
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a comedy totally devoid of laughs
Roland E. Zwick15 August 2002
`The Master of Disguise' raises – and indeed answers – the question of whether or not it is possible for a movie that bills itself as a `comedy' to run from beginning to end without offering a single funny moment. (The answer, by the way, is, yes, it can be done). Thus, while his `Wayne's World' partner, Mike Myers, is out there making both a fortune and an indelible impression on pop culture with his `Austin Powers' franchise, poor Dana Carvey is reduced to appearing in disastrous vehicles like this one. Now don't get me wrong. I love Carvey's work on `Saturday Night Live,' especially his impersonations of many of the major political figures of our time. However, Carvey's manic, over-the-top style is, apparently, a whole lot easier to take in small doses. Watching him mug, cavort and pratfall his way through a laughless script for the better part of an hour and a half ultimately becomes as wearying as it is embarrassing to watch.

Stealing much of its concept from `The Mask,' `The Master of Disguise' involves Carvey in some nonsense about a family of crime fighters who are able to magically don all sorts of disguises at a moment's notice. This allows the filmmakers to enlist the aid of a number of real life celebrities who end up making cameo appearances, in the misguided belief, most likely, that this was going to be a fun, entertaining movie comedy. Boy, were they misled. Actually, I have rarely seen a film in which the jokes, `bits' and setups fall as consistently flat as they do here. To get a general notion of the level of humor in this film, please note that the running gag involves one character's tendency towards uncontrollable flatulence. It isn't funny the first time it happens and, believe me, it is even less funny the fourth, fifth (or is it sixth?) time around.

In addition to the celebrity walk-ons (Bo Derek, Jesse Ventura, Paula Abdul, among others), Harold Gould, James Brolin, Jennifer Espinoto, Brent Spiner and Edie McClurg are all good sports who deserve better material than what they have been handed here. So is Carvey when you come right down to it. But then Carvey wrote the screenplay, so he HAS to be a good sport about it. After all, he handed HIMSELF this material. I hope the other actors trapped in this mess at least got paid well for their endeavors.

The only good news is that, in the closing credits, we get to see many of the scenes, lines and characters that were, apparently, filmed, then dropped from the final product. One can only imagine how much worse the film would have been had they all been allowed to stay in.
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Master Of Disguise...more than meets the eye.
qtrnevermore27 July 2002
Sheer genius cannot even begin to properly address this cinematic achievement, to call it any less is an insult. Dana Carvey, on the surface, plays a bumbling Italian waiter who inherits the power of disguise; however, if you dig a bit deeper & peel away the layers, you'll find a motion picture which is a scathing, yet biting social political statement on society as a whole. One cannot begin to hopefully comprehend or decipher all the psychological & stereotypical boundaries this film breaks. It is a surprise to find this film in mainstream theaters as a film on this level & caliber would normally only be found in the finest arthouse theaters. If you plan on seeing Master of Disguise, I suggest keeping your afternoon free, as after viewing, no after witnessing it, you'll need the rest of the afternoon to invest in deciphering the dense narrative. Admittingly some of the jokes were over my head, but all truly great comedies take a bit of effort for comprehension. Only for serious film viewers & students of the artform as a whole.
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Dana, what in goodness name were you THINKING?!??!?!
lambiepie-27 August 2005
Oh my....was this a stinker.

I tired to give it as much of a chance as possible cannot believe everything you read from critics..and you cannot believe everything you hear.

With "the Master of Disguise", you can. This was awful. I don't really think they meant it to be awful, I mean the story sounded good, I'm sure...on a bunch of film executives who were drunk at the time they heard it. Then it probably got by a bunch of other folks in various forms of development who thought, "This could really be a silly little film that would catch on". But it wasn't and didn't.

In some other universe, I wish there was a better script to punch up the story but they relied too much on Dana's characters that were god-awful and unfunny. This movie was painful to watch -- painful to see talented people on film in a very untalented movie. Someone should have pulled the plug..ceased production for a decade..something..anything.

But here we are. This is a major pass..under any circumstance.
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i may be only 14 but....
ShortCuteBlonde22 September 2002
this movie was way way way way kiddish, it was cute and everything, a cute idea and all that but it was way too kiddish for anyone over 8, i mean it was funny at some parts but kind of annoying at most, i wouldnt reccomend it for many, it bored me right down to the ground so dont go see it unless your with your little brother or sister or are a parent
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Completely silly, completely stupid, completely hilarious
Sex Baby11 August 2002
I have to say, I'm a little dissapointed that everyone's ripping this movie to pieces. Granted... the story makes very little sense (this didn't seem to stop Austin Powers 3 from getting rave reviews), but you know what? So what? This film is a fast-paced kid's movie and there's only one reason to see it: Dana Carvey. He's absolutely brilliant. He creates one of his best characters ever (The Turtle) and does some of his best impersonations ever as well (Robert Shaw from "Jaws" was a personal highlight of mine.)

When I saw this film, everyone in the theater laughed the whole way through. This is a film that will completely go over your head if you try to intellectualize it. It's just good, dumb fun. It reminds me a bit of those really insane 60s comedies, except that it's for kids. I have a feeling that this film will come to be appreciated over time on video and tv.
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Master of Disaster
SmileysWorld28 August 2002
Dana Carvey is an extremely talented comedian,which makes it a shame that his efforts since his Saturday Night Live days have fallen,at least for the most part,miserably flat.The latest effort,The Master of Disguise,is no exception.This film is horrid from top to bottom.It is a poor execution of what was a poor story idea to begin with.Executive Producer Adam Sandler's ideas about comedy may work when Sandler himself is in the film,but he has yet to produce a good effort when solely behind the camera.Carvey's efforts to make this a good film are indeed valiant,but he can't do it alone.Even the character names (Pistachio Disguisey?) are evidence that not a lot thought were given to them.The supporting cast seems lost to the point where they don't give good support at all.Don't waste your time or your money.Here's hoping that Dana Carvey will strike creative gold in the near future.He deserves it.
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not for narrow-minded people over 12 years old
gvit-27 June 2005
I mean, c'mon!! It was supposed to be dumb! My kid laughed and his friends laughed and I admit even I laughed at "Who's your Daddy?". After two viewings over the weekend, the kids were quite solemnly quoting lines and then laughing. OK there's a fart joke too many, big deal, Carvey has a good time putting on tons of costumes and following the obviously silly story line as if it was something credible. The 2.9 average here is completely off base. It's not gonna be anybody's all-time classic favorite, but the way this film got sent to the cleaner really is almost unique. If you have a roomful of 11 to 13 year old boys, it's raining and it's absolutely necessary to kill a couple of hours, you'd probably rate really high if you brought this back from the rental shop.
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watch the trailer
Natman8628 March 2005
Sitting through this movie is completely worthless because everything that appears to be funny is in the trailer. I went expecting to see Dana Carvey go crazy with all kinds of disguises, but he is in costume for only the last 20 minutes or so, and basically every single one of the disguises is in the trailer. Don't waste your time, watch something else.

Elements of the plot that attempt to keep the movie going for the first hour are immature and crude. It isn't suitable for young kids and adults have nothing to laugh at. Nothing is clever or creative. The movie is a sad jumble of wasted film. Unfortunate the Carvey submitted himself to such a production.
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The Trailers were Funnier than the Film.
dballred4 January 2003
As I was leaving the theater, I overheard one 12-year old tell another, "that was a dumb movie." About the only laughter I heard during the showing of this so-called comedy were toddlers responding to Brent Spiner's flatulence. If you haven't seen it yet, it's probably best you keep it that way. I gave it a '1' because I couldn't find the zero button.
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CamaroLuvNgal8417 August 2002
I loved this movie!! It was so cute!! I had wanted to see it ever since I first saw the trailer for it. I am a big fan of Dana Carvey and I thought he was great in this movie. I can understand why most of you people didn't like it because he made this especially for his children who are under 13. I loved his little Italian accent and I thought he looked so cute. I went with my dad (who's in his 40's) and my 10 year-old sister and they both laughed! My sister was laughing out loud and there were some parts that I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes. I think I laughed the hardest at the Turtle Guy part. I really liked the guy from India who was charming the snake. I loved the voice he used. Yeah, this movie ain't nothing like the work he did on Saturday Night Live but he does use his talent here and I just enjoyed it. I laughed and that's what Dana wanted the people to do when they saw this movie. It was so great. Oh, and I will own this movie when it comes out on video!!!
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A comedy that makes you wish you were dead
Isaac28 March 2007
If I could give this movie a negative rating, I would have.

I loved Dana Carvey on SNL. He was funny, had great timing. He did a great job in the Wayne's World movies too. He worked great when his movies stayed within the 15-30 demographic.

Then he destroyed his career with the Master of Disguise.

This 'comedy' was so bad that it made me feel terrible just for watching it. I was embarrassed to be watching this movie in public. There's nothing funny about openly pitying an actor as you watch him force the run time to 80 minutes with jokes so flat they don't even register above the painfully boring dialog.

"Painful" is a good way to describe this movie. Nothing works. Sometimes you can't even tell when the jokes had happened. That's how bad they were. I watched this with my brother and found myself asking "was that supposed to be a joke?" I guess so, because it happened over and over again.

I don't find his fake Italian accent as annoying as many of the reviewers, but how the hell is repeating the word "turtle" over and over again while dressed in a turtle suit to get into a turtle club supposed to be funny, let alone plausible in the plot? Was everybody involved with the film consistently drunk as this was being made? Surely somebody must have said something like "Guys, this really sucks. Lets burn it and never speak of it again." I suggest anybody who accidentally came into possession of this bumbling nightmare do the same, to rid the world of its horrors forever.
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Very funny
supersach30 March 2007
I am shocked to see such a low user rating for this movie. Looking at the user rating of 2.9, one may think that its one of the worst movie ever made but that would not be right. I saw this movie a few years back on TV and thought it was really funny. Yes, this movie doesn't make any sense but that's why its a silly movie but it sure makes you laugh and that's the reason why we watch a comedy. By the way, not many great comedy movies make sense or adhere to logic all the time because they need not do that, they are just suppose to be funny. So don't be fooled by the poor user rating and watch the movie and then decide whether it is really that bad.
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The Master of Disguise-(ing any funny jokes, charm, or solid performances)
RockoDaFoxxo28 September 2017
So... I have no idea what to say.

It might seem odd of me to write a review of a movie that's roughly 15 yrs. old now, but I guess it's beca-- Oh, f#@$ I DON'T KNOW! I just saw Nostalgia Critic's video of this movie and THAT inspired me to check it out due to my morbid (and senseless) curiosity! I think I'm writing this review down just because it feels right, y'know? I have too much to say about this... thing.

ANYWAYS, this movie is awful. It made me cringe, roll my eyes, sigh, face-palm, and be consistently bored throughout the 80 minutes of sophomoric jokes. I usually don't base my opinion on someone else's or from a review site (like Rotten Tomatoes, though I do use it as a quick-guide) but most of the criticisms you've heard are spot-on. Here's a list of all the (main) problems I have:

1. The characters aren't likable, funny, charismatic, or memorable in the slightest. They always feel like cardboard cut-outs repeating poor dialogue.

2. The story is super thin. I know storytelling isn't focused very much in comedies, but if you're that one pretentious movie-fan that looks at ANYTHING as a piece of art, well... you're not going to be satisfied at all. Just saying.

3. The soundtrack just blares any early 2000s pop-song that was popular at the time, and it can be obnoxious. Sometimes they're played at inappropriate moments and in scenes that were MEANT to be funny. It feels extremely dated.

4. The sets look somewhat ugly. The colors are weirdly flat and over-saturated, so it's hard to look at this film without getting a cheap vibe from it.

5. The actors have nothing to work for. I like Dana Carvey's SNL impressions, but seeing him make a stupid grin with an irritating voice for 80 minutes hurts a part of my soul. Every other actor and random cameo (hey look, that's Bo Derek!) feel completely wasted because the script has nothing funny or interesting in their characters.

6. The script. I know I'm stretching the straw by now, but seeing scenes with no flow or consistency just to make a dumb joke irritates me for a reason I cannot fathom.

AND 7. The J O K E S ! They. Are. Not. Funny. Once. Look, I'm all for goofy and crude comedies IF DONE WELL. I have a special spot for Dumb and Dumber and even SpongeBob, because they knew what they wanted to be and embraced that self- awareness in an enjoyable way. Here, the writers seem to think that adding butt jokes, fart jokes, slapping someone repeatedly, and making silly faces is funny enough for undemanding audiences and nobody else. It's insulting. The jokes range from flat and awkward to cringey, childish, annoying, lazy, witless, and even tasteless! It's one of the most grating comedies I've seen in a GOOD LONG TIME simply because it didn't even give me a SMIRK across my face!

WHEW... That took a while to write. Maybe I was a little hard on those seven points I made. After all, it wasn't the worst film I've ever seen. But regardless...

TMOD sucks. Please don't watch it. If you're one of those TL;DR type of guys, then I'll say this: TMOD is stupid, joyless, unfunny, childish, rushed, grating, flat, and incredibly boring. Please don't waste your time on it. I urge you. Go read a book. Do your homework. Play some games, go outside, do chores, walk your dog, anything that doesn't involve watching this... thing.
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There's No Disguising This As a Good Movie...(Contains Spoilers...As if it even matters)
John-Athens4 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Before I saw this movie, I thought there was a good reason for the "Turtle Guy" but I was wrong because there isn't even a good reason for this movie!

This movie is awful. Its fast-paced for no reason, the plot is incoherent, and the jokes are bland and played out. I think this movie should have been named "Spy Kids" because the real Spy Kids makes this movie look infant.

Where to start...Where to start...Dana Carvey's Character, Pistachio Disguisey, is not a lovable character...You feel sorry for him. He has the mind of an eight-year-old and you can tell that from the beginning. And it boggles the mind that Jennifer Esposito's character...Named Jennifer could even fall in love with a moron like him. James Brolin might as well stick to his AAMCO commercials, because after his character gets kidnapped, James himself spends the a good part of the movie in the back seat of a car, not to mention his overly played Italian accent that sounds more like an Italian-American accent. And Brent Spiner, what were you thinking? His character, Devlin Bowman, is just a villain without a cause, or should I say a villain without a reason for his cause. His character wants to steal all the world's rarest items but instead, for what reason was not disclosed at all.

Master of Disguise is like connect the dots without dots...Its nothing to connect to. I wanted this movie to be funny, because I like Dana Carver, but it just wasn't... Sorry Dana.
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I Thought It Would Have Been Good to See Dana Carvey Back But..
noahk4 August 2002
Oh my! "Opportunity Knocks" and "Clean Slate" were not exactly film classics, although compared to this movie, they may as well have been works of Shakespeare. Arguably the dumbest movie I have ever paid money to see in theatre (thanks to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" being sold out), this does not fit in the dumb but funny category of most of Adam Sandler's or Chris Farley's films, but in the jaw-droppingly dumb category. My wife and I often gazed at each other in amazement during this movie, unable to exactly process that something this truly silly and dumb was made (much less by Dana Carvey and Adam Sandler) and even stranger that others in the crowded theatre were laughing their heads off! We were excited to see Dana Carvey back in the movies, but there was good reason why this movie was not screened for review ahead of time.

To continue, I should say we had misgivings about seeing the film after the TV trailers that kept showing the "turtle" sequence, but decided that part was just silly fun and there's no way the rest of the movie could be so unclever and dumb. To our amazement, that was easily the most intelligent and serious part of the film! Think carefully before wasting your time with this one.. I score it a generous 3/10.
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I enjoyed the silliness and fun of this film.
HotHeat22 September 2005
It's one of those movies that people who like will watch over and over. It's silly, it's fun and it looks like the people making it had a ball. For me there were many funny scenes, like Dana's impersonation of Quint from the Jaws movie, and the extras shown during the credits. Some scenes fell flat, but the intention was there. There were many good in-jokes as well like Pistacchio's impersonation "from the hit movie Shrek" (since Mike Myers and Dana Carvey have worked together on many ventures). Interesting that Adam Sandler is one of the executive producers and this is about 1000 times funnier than his anger filled junk.
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does not deserve to be in the bottom 100
robot-cat19 February 2004
i'm in my early 30s and i thought it was funny. it's certainly not on par with the brilliant comedies made by monty python, but it's much better than 95% of the PG-13 garbage that continues to be released.

it was refreshing to see a PG comedy that wasn't centered around children. i really liked the gammy num nums disguise, and i wish they had been able to work the Mayor Maynot disguise in the movie along with the painting guy. thankfully they were both on the DVD.

i've watched it twice now, and will watch it again. dana talked (on a DVD featurette) about how he originally wanted to make a mission impossible type comedy with the master of disguise being part of the team, so maybe he'll go to back to that for a sequel; although, it seems unlikely since the first seems to be rather unpopular.

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Master of Crap is more like it
femme_fatale72 June 2003
A truely horrible movie. I don't care if it's meant for kids, even eight year old boys should be able to watch this and say, "that was the worst movie i have ever seen." It's sensless, plotless, and just generally stupid. Full of crude humor (which isn't even funny) and bad acting, this (along with "the tuxedo") is one movie which doesn't deserve to be called that, a movie.
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they should rename this movie, "When filmmakers get high"
depaulbeatkuHA17 February 2007
some rainy, cold, day in 2001, a group of movie makers got together and started talking about what good movies they have ideas of. the only problem was, that it was at a bar. after about 2 hours they were all insanely drunk. then they started naming ideas, like, hey! lets have terrible acting in a movie! another one said, yeah! and tons of forced unfunny humor! another said, no movie would be complete w/o decent acting! then last off, another one said,"and lets tie it all together w/ a storyline that makes no sense and is embarrassingly dumb! they all combined their ideas and made, "The Master of Disguise" and it was everything they hoped it would be.
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A film for the very young-at-heart (or the very simple-minded)
Blade-32 February 2003
I fully expected this film to be a vehicle for Carvey's numerous parodies as seen while a successful cast member of Saturday Night Live. In fact, this is what I was counting on. Instead, I was subjected to the most purile and sophomoric humor I have had to endure in a very long time. The entire film seems to have been haphazardly constructed to string together the many character impersonations he has developed, unfortunately, at the expense of an actual plot.

The result is a disjointed storyline that even the pre-pubescent target audience must have found confusing, if not down right annoying. Considering that this film was obviously meant for a much younger viewer than the previews would have you believe, I was shocked when at one point in the story, Pistachio is taught that it is wrong to strike someone with a closed fist, but perfectly acceptable to slap them with an open palm, a technique used heavily throughout the film.

Unless you are under the age of six, or just a die-hard Dana Carvey fan who can't miss a single one of his performances, I highly suggest you steer clear of this dog.
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I can'T believe pple spend thousands of dollars for such a crap
GothyX31 January 2003
When I looked at the box cover I told myself "hey it might be decent.." But, when you watch this you find out you should have gone for a walk instead. Of course, the Turtle Guy part brings a little smile, but I think it's the only thing funny in the movie. There is no structure in this movie, the story unfolds bad, Dana Carvey does his best and what the director tells him and he's not very funny. however , I liked Brent Spiner ( star trek's Data) as a vilain. Even a kindergarten would get bored with this ( should I say crap ) ?
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Save your time and money!
CORVETUSA30 January 2003
Save your time and money-I can't believe Adam Sandler had his name attached to this. My kids didn't even like it. The funniest part of the movie is during the credits. Dana Carvey needs to stay away from writing. Funny guy but not a funny story.
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Perhaps I'm being lenient because it wasn't horrid....
tzmalone6 August 2002
...but it wasn't. It had cameos almost as good as "Goldmember". It has a babe as babe-esque as "Men in Black II." And though it did have a running fart gag, it wasn't as gagging as Fat Bastard's. It was...well, restrained. Dana Carvey wasn't doing Jerry Lewis. His character actually was trainable and actually could take care of himself, push come to shove. And that was worth an extra point up the rating scale.
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Getting a bad rap
leinink15 August 2006
I rarely comment on movies, but when I see one getting such a bad rap.... I rented this for my 2 kids ages 8 and 12, and watched it with them and my wife. We all enjoyed it, and my kids have watched it several times since. It is obvious from the get go that this is a "goofy" movie, and it succeeds greatly as such. You can see the gags coming, but that only adds to the anticipation, as the goofiness is delivered in spades. We all loved Turtleman, and many of the other nutty characters invented by Dana. It is so difficult to find a family movie that we all can enjoy, that is harmless fun, with no scariness, no mom getting killed (a la Disney), no kidnapping, etc, etc. Only wish there was a sequel!
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