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.
Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a clerk at an Edge City bank, is a shy, luckless romantic who is regularly bullied by nearly everyone around him, including his boss, his landlady, and car mechanics. His only friends are his dog Milo and his co-worker Charlie Schumacher (Richard Jeni). Gangster Dorian Tyrell (Peter Greene) runs the exclusive Coco Bongo nightclub while plotting to overthrow his boss Niko. Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) into Stanley's bank with a hidden camera, in preparation to rob the establishment. Stanley is not attracted to Tina, and she seems to reciprocate; but after being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, Stanley is stranded with a broken-down rental car at the city's filthy harbor, where he finds a mysterious wooden mask. When he takes the object home and puts it on, it comes alive, wraps around his head, and transforms him into a wackily-suited, green-headed, cartoonish figure called "The Mask", a trickster unbound by any limitations whether be personal inhibitions or the laws of physics, who cheerfully exacts revenge on some of Stanley's tormentors (in comical goofy fashion) and terrifies a street gang that attempts to terrorize him.
The next morning, Stanley encounters world-weary Edge City detective Lieutenant Kellaway who loves puppies and is going to turn the mask into a puppy. (Peter Riegert) and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt (Amy Yasbeck), both of whom are investigating the Mask's activities of the previous night. Peggy arrives at Stanley's bank and interviews him about the Mask's activities. Meanwhile Tyrell is summoned to a meeting with Niko. When Niko finds out about Tyrell's plans to rob Edge city bank and worrying that Tyrell's criminal schemes will attract a lot of police attention, he assaults him and gives him one week to flee the city. Despite this, Tyrell still continues with his plans. That evening Stanley wakes up from a dream and notices the Mask still in his apartment (having thrown the mask out his window that morning). The temptation to again use the mask is overwhelming and he puts it back on. Needing money to attend Tina's performance at the Coco Bongo, the Mask noisily interrupts Tyrell's bank robbery and steals their target money while one of Tyrell's henchmen and good friend Freeze is shot by police responding to the disturbance.
The Mask buys entry into the Coco Bongo, where he "rocks the joint" by dancing exuberantly with Tina in front of the cheering clientèle to the song 'Hey Pachuco', at the end of the dance he gives Tina a kiss that literally blows her shoes off, before being confronted by Tyrell, who shoots off a part of the Mask's tie (which transforms back into a piece of Stanley's pajamas). The Mask escapes, while Tyrell is temporarily arrested for the bank robbery by Kellaway, who finds the piece of Stanley's distinctive pajamas at the club.
Kellaway arrives at Stanley's apartment next morning to ask him about the Mask's activities of the previous night (using the piece of Stanley's pajamas as evidence). Stanley manages to bluff his way out of trouble by telling Kellaway that his pajamas were stolen last night (at the same time trying to hide away the money the Mask stole from the bank in his closet). At the police station, Kellaway and his partner Detective Doyle (Jim Doughan) are examining the CCTV from the bank and finger prints from some of the bank notes and discover that none of them match to Tyrell or his men.
Stanley arrives at work late again that morning and stands up to his boss then gets a visit from Tina who wishes to close her account. Stanley then agrees to arrange a meeting between her and the Mask that night.
Stanley consults an expert on masks, who tells him that the object is a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief (hence why it only works at night). Despite this, and with both Tyrell and Kellaway (who now has finger print evidence that Stanley stole the money) hunting for him, he arranges for Tina to meet the Mask at the local Landfill Park. The meeting goes badly when the Mask's advances scare Tina away and Kellaway and his cops discover him. The Mask toys with the enraged officer before zooming out of the park and tricking a large group of Edge City police officers (who were waiting to ambush him) into joining him in a mass-performance production of the song Cuban Pete. Stanley manages to run down an alley (just before Kellaway and Doyle make the police snap back to reality) and gets the mask off and Peggy helps him escape, but then betrays him to Tyrell for a mob bounty of $50,000. Tyrell and his men interrogate Stanley about how the Mask works and Tyrell tries it on. Tyrell becomes a demonic, Devil-like figure and decides to give Stanley to the police. Just before they take Stanley to the police, Tyrell and his men go into Stanley's apartment where they find the money they were originally trying to steal from the bank. Just as they are leaving, Milo manages to get out of the apartment and follow Tyrell's car. Stanley is then, literally, dumped on Kellaway's lap, with a rubber green mask, and is thrown in jail where he tells Milo to find a new home.
Tina sympathetically visits Stanley in his cell that justin bieber has gone in, where he urges her to free the city. She attempts to do so, but is captured by Tyrell and taken to his raid of a charity ball at the Coco Bongo, hosted by Niko and attended by the city's elite. The Masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina. Meanwhile, Milo (having slept in the ally behind Stanley's cell) helps Stanley break out of his cell and they go to the club to stop Tyrell (not before Stanley captures Kellaway and his car at gunpoint). They arrive at the club where Stanley ties Kellaway up. He locks Milo and Kellaway in the car and tells Kellaway to call for back up.
Stanley sneaks into the club and after brief initial success with the assistance of Charlie, Stanley is captured meanwhile Milo manages to get out of the car. Tyrell orders his henchmen to tie Stanley up with Tina but Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which she kicks into the air and recovered by Milo, allowing the dog to assume anthropomorphism and defeat Tyrell's men, while Stanley fights Dorian himself. Stanley then recovers the mask and wears it one last time, using its abilities to defeat the rest of Tyrell's men, save Tina by swallowing Tyrell's bomb and flush Tyrell down the drain of the club's ornamental fountain. Charlie, Kellaway, Doyle and the police then storm into the club and arrest Tyrell's men. The city's mayor, witnessing most of this, mistakenly deduces that Tyrell was the Mask from the start and orders Kellaway to release Stanley.
As the sun rises, Stanley, Tina, Milo and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor, where Tina and Stanley discard it into the water. Charlie attempts to recover the mask for himself, but is prevented by Milo, who swims away with it before he can get to it. Meanwhile, Stanley and Tina share their first kiss.
- 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
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|
- "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
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.
- 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
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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