The Mask (film)

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The Mask
The Mask (film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chuck Russell
Produced by Bob Engelman
Screenplay by Mike Werb
Story by Michael Fallon
Mark Verheiden
Based on The Mask by John Arcudi
Doug Mahnke
Starring Jim Carrey
Peter Riegert
Peter Greene
Amy Yasbeck
Richard Jeni
Cameron Diaz
Music by Randy Edelman
Cinematography John R. Leonetti
Editing by Arthur Coburn
Studio Dark Horse Entertainment
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • July 29, 1994 (1994-07-29)
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23 million[1]
Box office $351,583,407[1]

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 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 (Tom Bertino, Jon Farhat, Scott Squires and Steve 'Spaz' Williams), but lost to Forrest Gump.

Plot[edit]

Shy and luckless clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) works at an Edge City bank. He is tormented by nearly everyone except for his Jack Russell Terrier Milo and his co-worker Charlie Schumaker (Richard Jeni). Meanwhile, gangster Dorian Tyrell (Peter Greene) operates a nightclub called the Coco Bongo while plotting to overthrow his Greek boss Niko (Orestes Matacena). Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) 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, he finds a mysterious wooden mask near the city's harbor. 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 his tormentors, including the auto mechanics who had ripped him off the night before and his bullying and grumpy landlord Mrs. Peenman (Nancy Fish). When a street gang attempts to rob him, he scares them by turning a balloon into a Tommy gun.

The next morning, Stanley encounters Lieutenant Kellaway (Peter Riegert), Detective Doyle (Jim Doughan), and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt (Amy Yasbeck) investigating The Mask's activity. Despite being sought by the police, he again becomes The Mask in order to steal money targeted by Tyrell and attend Tina's performance. At the Coco Bongo, The mask watches Tina perform and starts to feel aroused by her performance and then howls like a werewolf. The Mask dances exuberantly with Tina, whom he ends up kissing. Following a confrontation with Tyrell, The Mask flees, leaving behind a scrap of cloth belonging to his alter ego, Stanley Ipkiss. Kellaway suspects that Stanley is behind the bank robbery, but Stanley dissuades him. Stanley consults an expert on masks named Dr. Arthur Neuman (Ben Stein), who tells him that the object is a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Despite the potential of the mask's power, and with both Tyrell and Kellaway hunting for him, a more confident Stanley stands up to his boss and arranges to meet Tina the local Landfill Park. Stanley transforms into The Mask again and scares Tina off. He is interrupted by Kellaway and Doyle, who attempt to arrest him. However The Mask distracts them by tricking 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 she betrays him 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 handed over to Kellaway and Doyle, along with a green rubber 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 tries to leave the city, but is captured by Orlando and Tyrell. They take her to a charity ball hosted by Niko and attended by the city's elite, including the city's mayor, Mitchell Tilton (Ivory Ocean). At the ball, the masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina. Milo helps Stanley escape from prison, and bringing Kellaway as a cover and hostage, they go to the club to stop Tyrell. After briefly 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.

After recovering the mask, Stanley 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. Kellaway and Doyle attempt to arrest Stanley again, claiming his real identity as The Mask. Mayor Tilton arrives and debunks Kellaway's claims by announcing that Tyrell was The Mask the whole time because he was one of the victims that was taken hostage by the thug at Coco Bongo. He tells Stanley that he is a hero, thanks him for saving lives, and orders the police to release him. When Kellaway tries to protest and claim Stanley's identity as The Mask, Tilton mentions that he will need to meet with both him and Doyle in his office the next morning to discuss their early retirement. All charges against Stanley are dropped, while both cops must face Tilton's judgment.

The next day, as the sun rises, Stanley, Tina, Milo, and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor. Tina throws the mask into the water, and she and Stanley celebrate their victory with a kiss. Charlie tries to retrieve the mask for himself, only to find Milo swimming away with it. Stanley then shouts out 'SMOKIN', showing that he never needed the mask all along.

Cast[edit]

  • 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.
  • Peter Greene as Dorian Tyrell, a mafia officer and the main antagonist of the film, who desires to kill his superior and take over the city's underworld while pursuing the Mask's power and avoiding Lt. Kellaway.
  • 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 Lieutenant 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.
  • Amy Yasbeck as Peggy Brandt, a reporter with a crush on Stanley. In an earlier draft, the character is killed by Dorian when first transformed by the Mask.
  • Orestes Matacena as Niko, the Greek mafia boss of Edge City and owner of the Coco Bongo Club.
  • Nancy Fish as Mrs. Peenman, Stanley's cantankerous and grumpy 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, a female friend of Stanley's
  • Ben Stein as Dr. Arthur Neuman, a psychologist who tells Ipkiss of the Mask being representative of Loki. He is the only character to appear in both The Mask and its sequel Son of the Mask.
  • Jeremy Roberts as Bobby the Bouncer

Reception[edit]

The film was a box-office success, grossing $119 million domestically and over $350 million worldwide,[1] 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."[2] 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."[3]

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

Soundtracks[edit]

Original soundtrack[edit]

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.

The soundtrack was re-released on July 25, 1995, featuring original songs by Brandy, Aaliyah, Chante Moore, En Vogue, Mary J. Blige, SWV, TLC, Brownstone, Changing Faces, and For Real.

The Mask:
Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released July 26, 1994 (1994-07-26)
July 25, 1995 (1995-07-25) (re-release)
Genre Swing, retro swing, pop rock, R&B, new jack swing
Label Chaos/Columbia

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Cuban Pete" (C & C Pop Radio Edit) - Jim Carrey
  2. "Who's That Man?" - Xscape
  3. "This Business of Love" - Domino
  4. "Bounce Around" - Tony! Toni! Toné!
  5. "(I Could Only) Whisper Your Name" - Harry Connick, Jr.
  6. "You Would Be My Baby" - Vanessa Williams
  7. "Hi De Ho" - K7
  8. "Let the Good Times Roll" - Fishbone
  9. "Straight Up" - The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  10. "Hey! Pachuco!" - Royal Crown Revue
  11. "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You" - Susan Boyd
  12. "Cuban Pete" (Arkin Movie Mix) - Jim Carrey

1995 re-release track listing[edit]

  1. "Who's That Man?" – Xscape
  2. "Baby" – Brandy
  3. "This Business of Love" – Domino
  4. "Bounce Around" – Tony! Toni! Tone!
  5. "You Would Be My Baby" – Vanessa Williams
  6. "It's About Time" – SWV
  7. "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)En Vogue
  8. "Waterfalls" – TLC
  9. "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" – Mary J. Blige
  10. "Throw Your Hands Up" – Aaliyah
  11. "Foolin' Around" – Changing Faces
  12. "Pass the Lovin'" – Brownstone
  13. "You Don't Wanna Miss" – For Real
  14. "I'm What You Need" – Chante Moore

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Position
U.S. Billboard 200 80

Orchestral soundtrack[edit]

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[edit]

  1. Opening - The Origin Of The Mask
  2. Tina
  3. Carnival
  4. Transformation
  5. Tango In The Park
  6. Lovebirds
  7. Out Of The Line Of Fire
  8. A Dark Night
  9. The Man Behind The Mask
  10. Dorian Gets A New Face
  11. Looking For A Way Out
  12. The Search
  13. Forked Tongue
  14. Milo To The Rescue
  15. The Mask Is Back
  16. Finale

Home video[edit]

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 on Blu-ray Disc on December 9, 2008.[6] 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.

Sequels[edit]

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 called The Mask: The Animated Series was released and ran for three seasons. Starring Rob Paulsen as Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask, it eliminated the character of Tina and added a new archenemy named Pretorious (Tim Curry). 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 and Bob Hoskins, respectively), 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).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Mask (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 29, 1994). "The Mask". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  3. ^ "The Mask (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees
  5. ^ AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
  6. ^ Dreuth, Josh (09-12-2008). "Today on Blu-ray - December 9". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 

External links[edit]