Flashback Review: The Mask

In The 1980’s Dark House Comics founder, Mike Richardson created and published a comic book mini-series titled, “The Mask” based on his early concept art he drew in 1982. If you grew up watching Jim Carrey’s movie, this isn’t what you think it is, the film is actually based on the comic book of the same name. Unlike the film, it’s twisted gory black comedy horror about a man named Stanley, who’s fed up with his every day life, buys a mask as a present for his girlfriend. Stanley puts the mask on for fun, until he miraculously transforms as a humanoid green figure with powers, against his tormentors by going on bloody rampage. Before Deadpool, before Rick Sanchez, (from Rick & Morty) The Mask was the one that inspired violent fourth wall breakers. He’s arguably a trailblazer.

If you want to learn more about the history surrounding the comic, watch Nostalgia Critic’s editorial review called, “Was The Mask Supposed To Be Gory?”

The Mask was released in 1994. (same year The Crow came out) It became a sleeper hit establishing Jim Carrey as an A-Lister after leaving as a cast member of In Living Color, earning positive reviews from critics and made a bunch of money at the box office.

The film’s success spawned an animated television series with Robert Paulson (not Meat Loaf from Fight Club) voicing the character. A sequel to The Mask was supposed to have Jim Carrey reprise his role, but he decided to call it quits to work on other projects. Jamie Kennedy took Jim’s place in the critical and box office failure, Son Of The Mask.

With Deadpool 2 coming out in May 18, let’s look back at the green wisecracking fourth wall breaker who’s arguably one of the key inspirations for Deadpool.

Today’s review doesn’t list any SPOILERS. Feel free to read this article if you have never got a chance to watch it.

Stable & Unstable Elements

Stable: Jim Carrey did a funny as heck performance as the title character. He even improvised his scenes.

Fun Fact: Correct me if I’m wrong, The Mask is the first film to have Jim Carrey wearing something green related to his characters. He went on to play famous green characters including The Riddler & The Grinch.

Cameron Diaz made her big screen debut and she did a good job on her performance.

Other Cast Members such as Peter Greene & Amy Yasbeck also did a good job on their performances.

Jokes in this film features elements of slapstick, memorable witty dialogue, visual humor, pop culture references and my personal favorite, fourth wall breaking.

Cinematography felt looked decent without any technical problems throughout.

Visual Effects at the time were groundbreaking, to be honest, they surprisingly still hold up for The Mask’s shapeshifting Powers resembling a Looney Tunes cartoon. I’m giving the effects team Bonus Points for all their hard work, will somebody please give them a Christmas Bonus for Big Pete’s Sake!

Prosthetic Make-Up was used to apply Jim’s face. Jim encouraged the make-up artists to allow him to wear false big teeth in order to keep the effects team’s budget from skyrocketing off the charts. Now that’s what I call a dedicated performance!

Character Development involving Stanley whenever he puts his mask on, he learns to stand up for himself without using it most of the time. 

My favorite Dance Number hands down, has got to be “Cuban Pete.” It worked effectively, this is why Jamie Kennedy’s film lacked a reason why a Dance Number needs to be used when necessary. The Cuban Pete scene was used for a special situation.

Both Jim & Cameron did their own dance moves without a stunt double.

A Tex Avery cartoon is played on TV, this is used to foreshadow a future scene. 

Some of The Mask’s traits are based on characters from Looney Tunes.

There’s a building called, “Warwick Hotel.” Could this be an Easter Egg to Warwick Davis? He’s also known as a character associated with green if you know what I mean.

The titular object transformers the wearer based on a particular personality like a dream coming to life by helping you achieve your long-term goals very quickly.

Believe it or not, the iconic yellow suit was taken from Jim’s real life banana suit he wore that his mom designed.

Without giving anything away, besides Stanley, two pivotal characters acquire an “upgrade.”

Ben Stein makes a brief appearance who has knowledge about Norse Mythology.

The movie made a reference to Dirty Harry. Jim is good friends with Clint Eastwood since he was discovered by him in a film they did called, The Dead Pool. Jim would often imitate him in most of his movies. 

The film made a reference to A Christmas Carol. Jim went on to star in the 2009 version as Ebenezer Scrooge & The Three Ghosts.

Unstable: An early romance is unrealistically shoved in front of my face. *UGH* I despise a Hollywood Romance rapidly evolving too soon! 

Product Placement featuring the following brands including Sony & McDonald’s. I couldn’t find anything else to shove down my throat, so I’ll give this con a pass.

The Final Verdict: A-

The Mask is a timeless classic among comic book movie adaptations. This film along with others like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and last but not least, Dumb & Dumber made Jim Carrey a household name. Special Effects are superb. Unforgettable funny moments improvised by Jim himself. If you’re eager to see Deadpool 2, I highly recommend this film to keep you busy.

I think it’s an appropriate time to reboot The Mask as a hard R film on the same level as Deadpool, Logan & the upcoming Venom movie. Please somebody in Hollywood, write and produce a script based heavily on the comic, that’ll easily make the audience pretend that Son Of The Mask never happened as a sign of forgiveness. Deadpool got his image fixed and we pretend that X-Men Origins: Wolverine never happened. The Mask deserves a second chance. All we need is an actor who’s able to play a funny and psychotic antagonist similar to Steven Ogg performance as Trevor Phillips in Grand Theft Auto V.

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