The Mask (film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chuck Russell|
|Produced by||Bob Engelman|
|Screenplay by||Mike Werb|
|Story by||Michael Fallon
|Based on||The Mask
by Dark Horse Comics
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Cinematography||John R. Leonetti|
|Editing by||Arthur Coburn|
|Studio||Dark Horse Entertainment|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||101 minutes|
The Mask is a 1994 American superhero fantasy action comedy film based on a series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics. This film was directed by Chuck Russell, and produced by Dark Horse Entertainment and New Line Cinema, and originally released to movie theatres on July 29, 1994. The film stars Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss, a man who finds the Mask of Loki that turns him into The Mask, a grinning, magically-powered trickster uninhibited by anything, including physical reality. The film's supporting cast includes Peter Greene as mafia officer Dorian Tyrell, Amy Yasbeck as a newspaper reporter, Peter Riegert and Jim Doughan as two police detectives, Richard Jeni as Stanley's friend, Orestes Matacena as nightclub owner and mafia boss Niko, Ben Stein as a psychologist, and Cameron Diaz in her feature film debut as Stanley's love interest Tina Carlyle.
The movie was among the top ten moneymakers of its year, cemented Carrey's reputation as one of the dominant comedic actors of the era, and established Diaz as a major starlet immediately, who would go on to have a long career as a leading lady. Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role, and the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but lost to Forrest Gump.
Shy and luckless clerk Stanley Ipkiss works at an Edge City bank. He is bullied by nearly everyone he is around including his boss Mr. Dickey and his land-lady Mrs. Peenman. His only friends are his Jack Russell Terrier Milo and his co-worker Charlie Schumaker. Meanwhile, gangster Dorian Tyrell operates a nightclub called the Coco Bongo while plotting to overthrow his boss Niko. Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle into Stanley's bank to record its layout, in preparation to rob the bank.
Stanley is attracted to Tina, and she seems to reciprocate. After being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, near the city's harbor, he finds a mysterious wooden mask. Placing it on his face transforms him into a zoot-suited, green-faced, bizarre trickster known as the Mask, who is able to cartoonishly alter himself and his surroundings at will. The transformed Stanley exacts revenge on some of Stanley's tormentors, including the auto mechanics who ripped him off the night before, and scares a street gang that attempts to rob him by turning a balloon into a Tommy gun.
The next morning, Stanley encounters detective Lieutenant Kellaway and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt investigating the Mask's activity. To attend Tina's performance and, despite being sought by the police, he again becomes the Mask in order to steal money targeted by Tyrell. At the Coco Bongo, the Mask dances exuberantly with Tina. Following a confrontation with Tyrell, the Mask flees, leaving behind a scrap of cloth belonging to himself.
Kellaway accuses Stanley of the bank-robbery, but he escapes trouble and later consults an expert on masks named Arthur Neuman, who tells him that the object is a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Despite this, Stanley arranges for Tina to meet the Mask at the local Landfill Park. The meeting is proceeding as planned when Lt. Kellaway attempts to arrest him. The Mask tricks a large group of Edge City police officers into joining him in a mass-performance of the Desi Arnaz song "Cuban Pete". Stanley flees with Peggy, but he is betrayed to Tyrell for a $50,000 bounty. Tyrell tries on the mask and becomes a malevolent green-faced being. Forced to reveal the location of the stolen money, Stanley is kept hostage in one of the mob's cars while Tyrell's henchmen reclaim the money. Stanley is later given to Kellaway along with a rubber green mask to be detained.
When Tina visits Stanley in his cell, he urges her to flee the city. Tina thanks Stanley for treating her with respect and tells him that she knew that he was the Mask all along. She attempts to leave the city, but is captured by Orlando and Tyrell and taken to a charity ball hosted by Niko and attended by the city's elite, including the city's mayor Mitchell Tilton. Upon arrival, the masked Tyrell kills Niko, and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina. Milo helps Stanley escape prison, and they, bringing Kellaway as a cover and hostage, go to stop Tyrell.
After the brief, initial success of securing the assistance of Charlie, Stanley is spotted by Orlando and captured. Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which is recovered and donned by Milo, turning the dog into a cartoonish pitbull who defeats Tyrell's men, while Stanley fights Tyrell. Stanley then recovers the mask and uses its abilities to save Tina by swallowing Tyrell's bomb and flushing Tyrell down the drain of the club's ornamental fountain. The police arrive and arrest Tyrell's remaining henchmen while Kellaway arrests Stanley again, then Tilton announces to everyone that Tyrell was The Mask the whole time, as a way for Kellaway to let Stanley go. Tilton tells Stanley that he is a hero, and thanks him for saving lives. He goes on to say that he needs to have a meeting with Kellaway in his office the next morning, and all charges against Stanley are dropped.
As the sun rises the following day, Stanley, Tina, Milo, and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor, where Tina throws it into the water and she and Stanley begin to kiss before Stanley can say in the mask's voice, "Smoking." and kiss again. Charlie attempts to retrieve the mask for himself, only to find Milo swimming away with it.
- Jim Carrey as Stanley Ipkiss / The Mask. Jim Carrey, who portrays Stanley Ipkiss, commented that he characterized Stanley after his own father: "a nice guy, just trying to get by". When Ipkiss puts on the Mask, he becomes a suave cartoon figure having the ability to manipulate his own shape and the world around him to a superhuman extent.
- Cameron Diaz as Tina Carlyle, the girlfriend of mobster Dorian Tyrell who is largely dissatisfied with Dorian as a partner, but does not deny him until courted by his rival. This role marked the feature film debut for Cameron Diaz. Before Diaz was cast, the studio considered casting Anna Nicole Smith, Vanessa L. Williams and Kristy Swanson.
- Richard Jeni as Charlie Schumaker, Stanley's best friend and colleague. Charlie is amiable, but can be selfish or irrational at times.
- Peter Riegert as Lt. Mitch Kellaway, a slightly cynical police detective who pursues the Mask, Dorian, and Niko throughout the film.
- Jim Doughan as Detective Doyle, Lt. Kellaway's slightly-inept partner.
- Peter Greene as Dorian Tyrell, a mafia officer who desires to kill his superior. When Dorian wears the Mask, he becomes a troll-like figure representing his malice, and exhibits beastial behavior.
- Amy Yasbeck as Peggy Brandt, a reporter with a crush on Stanley. In a deleted scene, the character is killed by Dorian when first transformed by the Mask.
- Orestes Matacena as Niko, the mafia boss of Edge City and owner of the Coco Bongo Club.
- Nancy Fish as Mrs. Peenman, Stanley's cantankerous land-lady.
- Tim Bagley as Irv Ripley, Mechanic on Ipkiss's car and Burt's brother.
- Johnny Williams as Burt Ripley, Mechanic on Ipkiss's car and Irv's brother.
- Reginald E. Cathey as Freeze, Dorian Tyrell's bodyguard and best friend.
- Denis Forest as Sweet Eddy, one of Tyrell's thugs.
- Ivory Ocean as Mayor Mitchell Tilton
- Joely Fisher as Maggie
- Ben Stein as Dr. Arthur Neuman, a psychologist who tells Ipkiss of the Mask being representative of Loki.
The film was a box-office success, grossing $119 million domestically and over $350 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest grossing superhero movie at that time, behind Batman. Even though it has been out-grossed by several superhero movies throughout the years, it remains immensely popular, especially among children. The film also received positive reviews from critics, including Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, who gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, noting Jim Carrey for his "joyful performance." The Mask is one of three films featuring Carrey (the others being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber) released in 1994 that helped launch the actor to superstardom, though The Mask was the most successful of these three films both critically and commercially. The film is also notable for immediately establishing Diaz - previously a complete unknown - as a major star in Hollywood as well. The film is also considered a cult classic.
The film was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 67th Academy Awards, but lost to Forrest Gump. In addition, Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe. Conversely, he was also nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star".
It currently holds a 77% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a consensus stating "It misses perhaps as often as it hits, but Carrey's manic bombast, Diaz's blowsy appeal, and the film's overall cartoony bombast keep The Mask afloat."
On the television program Siskel & Ebert, the critics gave the film "two thumbs up" and the movie went on their list of "Best of 1994".
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from film critics, it has a rating score of 56, indicating "mixed or average reviews" based on 12 reviews.
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "Somebody stop me!" - Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Fantasy Film
Original soundtrack 
The Mask: Music From the Motion Picture was released on July 26, 1994 on Chaos Records, which is associated with Sony Music Entertainment. It features music from Xscape, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Vanessa Williams, Harry Connick, Jr., Jim Carrey himself and more.
Music from the Motion Picture
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||July 26, 1994|
Track listing 
- "Cuban Pete" (C & C Pop Radio Edit) - Jim Carrey
- "Who's That Man" - Xscape
- "This Business of Love" - Domino
- "Bounce Around" - Tony! Toni! Toné!
- "(I Could Only) Whisper Your Name" - Harry Connick, Jr.
- "You Would Be My Baby" - Vanessa Williams
- "Hi De Ho" - K7
- "Let the Good Times Roll" - Fishbone
- "Straight Up" - The Brian Setzer Orchestra
- "Hey! Pachuco!" - Royal Crown Revue
- "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You" - Susan Boyd
- "Cuban Pete" (Arkin Movie Mix) - Jim Carrey
- 1994 Billboard 200 - # 80
Orchestral soundtrack 
Epic Soundtrax's The orchestral score soundtrack to The Mask was released shortly after the original soundtrack's release. The score was composed and conducted by Randy Edelman and performed by the Irish Film Orchestra.
Track listing 
- Opening - The Origin Of The Mask
- Tango In The Park
- Out Of The Line Of Fire
- A Dark Night
- The Man Behind The Mask
- Dorian Gets A New Face
- Looking For A Way Out
- The Search
- Forked Tongue
- Milo To The Rescue
- The Mask Is Back
Home video 
The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc (and later on DVD) by New Line Home Video. The VHS version included an interview between Jim Carrey and Space Ghost, as a promotion for their corporate sibling Cartoon Network's Space Ghost Coast to Coast after the film. It also had a trailer for Jim Carrey's then-upcoming film, Dumb and Dumber, and ads for the soundtrack to the film, and for what was then branded as Betty Crocker Pop Secret. It was later released Blu-ray Disc on December 9, 2008. It has an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is encoded in 1080p/VC-1. Its audio is a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD encoded at a 16 bit / 48 kHz sample rate. Special features include additional scenes, production details and two commentary tracks, one by director Chuck Russell and the other by the rest of the production crew.
Not long after the release of The Mask, it was announced in Nintendo Power that Carrey would be returning in a sequel called The Mask II. The magazine held a contest, with the winner being an extra in the film, but, due to Jim Carrey declining to reprise his role, the project never came to fruition. In a 1995 Barbara Walters Special, Carrey revealed that he was offered what would be a record-setting sum of $10 million to star in The Mask II, but turned it down, because his experiences on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls convinced him that reprising a character he'd previously played offered him no challenges as an actor.
After this, an animated series was released and ran for two seasons. Some ideas for The Mask II made it into the animated series.
An unrelated sequel, Son of the Mask, was released in theaters in February 2005. The sequel was a box-office bomb and was universally panned by critics. It received 8 nominations at the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Jamie Kennedy), Worst Supporting Actor (Alan Cumming), Worst Supporting Actor (Bob Hoskins), Worst Director (Lawrence Guterman), Worst Remake or Sequel, Worst Screenplay (Lance Khazei) and Worst Screen Couple (Jamie Kennedy and Anybody Stuck Sharing the Screen with Him).
- "The Mask (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Blaise, Judd. "The Mask". Allrovi. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (July 29, 1994). "The Mask". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
- "The Mask (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- Dreuth, Josh (09-12-2008). "Today on Blu-ray - December 9". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
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