The chief mercenary for the British East India Company, being double crossed by his former employer, has made his way to the American Colonies. Working to redeem his name, William Reynolds (Andrew Cheney) now hides behind a different mask in hopes of thwarting his former employer. As his past life closes in on him, Will must somehow gain the trust and the help of his beloved Charlotte, a woman he has been lying to, as well as a colonial intellectual by the name of Ben Franklin. All the while he races against time to defuse a plot that could have devastating effect on the birth of a new nation. Written by
The vote to declare independence was taken on July 2, 1776. The text of the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776. The only person to sign the document on July 4, 1776 was John Hancock as President of Congress. It was read publicly on July 8, 1776 by city Sheriff John Nixon. See more »
In the 18th Century, men did not wear beards (the exception being some Russians). The upper and middle class gentleman would always be clean-shaven. The poor/laborer classes would only be shaved two or three times a week. Many German soldiers wore mustaches, but neither French nor British (and the colonists were still British) would have worn either mustaches or beards. See more »
Sort of like a comic book superhero version of How America Won Its Independence, "Beyond the Mask" features Andrew Cheney as a British assassin named William Reynolds who goes to the colonies to help wage war against the Empire, as a means of demonstrating to his true love (Kara Killmer) that, despite his checkered past, he's really just a decent guy under it all. While in the new world, he becomes a masked figure known as The Highwayman, who rides around at night securing victories for the fledgling rebels while hiding his identity behind a black mask. And, yes, it's every bit as dopey as it sounds. (William Reynolds was, apparently, an actual person but little in his biography matches anything that happens on screen).
A monument to inanity, "Beyond the Mask" lacks even the polish and professionalism of a junior high school civics project. Its portrayal of the personalities and events of the time is laughable at best, with a plot to blow up Philadelphia using Benjamin Franklin's own idea for electricity against him serving as the climactic stupidity. Luckily, Mr. Reynolds, scoundrel that he is, is on hand to thwart the dastardly deed with his heroism and his purity of heart.
And that, dear children, is how the Americans came to win their independence from England.
In more gifted hands, "Beyond the Mask" might have been a fun, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of lark, a harmless little bit of absurd revisionism designed to make history entertaining for the masses. But, sad to say, everything about the movie - from the script to the directing to the acting - is so terrible that there's actually precious little fun to be had.
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