Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck, Richard Jeni, Amy Yasbeck, Jim Doughan, Orestes Matacena, Eamonn Roche, Nancy Fish, Tim Bagley, Johnny Williams, Reginald E. Cathey, Denis Forest, Ivory Ocean, Joely Fisher, Ben Stein
Written by: Mike Werb, based on a story by Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden
Directed by: Charles Russell
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some stylized violence
Running Time: 101
Date: 07/29/1994

The Mask (1994)

3 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I'm about to heap some high praise on Jim Carrey, but please bear with me. In The Mask, Carrey invites comparison to Fred Astaire, Jackie Chan, and Charlie Chaplin. He is so good in this role, that we can't tell where Carrey ends and the special effects begin. This is the perfect movie for him. The biggest drawback with The Mask is that the rest of the movie isn't as big or as exciting as Carrey is. In Astaire, Chan and Chaplin movies, everyone else around the star directly compliments that star, whether as a good guy or a bad guy. In The Mask, the bad guys are just bad. We have no idea who they are and we don't care about them. We just want to count the minutes until they're defeated. Meanwhile, the talented Peter Riegert is wasted as a bumbling cop. On the other hand, Cameron Diaz, in her first movie, is quite beautiful and compelling. It's not often anymore that a studio will take a chance on an unknown. She adds a nice dimension to the standard piece-of-meat character. She has a very good presence. The movie loses sparkle when Diaz is not on screen, and it loses its punch when the Mask is not on screen, but when the movie works, it's magic.

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