The Mask

The Mask ★★★

"That's ridiculous"

"Those pajamas are ridiculous! This actually happened."

The Mask is a weird shot of nostalgia for me. It was among the VHS collection my parents had stuffed in a closet when I was 5. When I got my own VHS player, The Mask was one of those movies I would play constantly. It was also my first Jim Carrey movie! Kind of a weird movie for a 5 year old to be watching, but whatever, I guess! The nostalgia trip awaited me and it was... interesting. The Mask carries a unique cartoonish charm that made the revisit worth it in the long run.

What The Mask does best is tone. Chuck Russel directs this like a live-action cartoon. Simple sets and costumes that are also very blown out and over-the-top. Even though they're established well, the way these sets are built feels weirdly impossible. The plot especially plays out in a very cartoonish way with many of its own setups and payoffs having comically thin logic and solutions. It's all very charming - though Russel does fall into some comic tropes that very well should be left in 1994. Though The Mask attempts to shine light on older and dated cartoon tropes (kind of feel like I'm maybe giving it too much credit), it just awkwardly falls into the same ones.

The Mask if course does have it's darkly comedic edge to it, and it's amazingly complimented by a erratic Jim Carrey performance. Though obviously some of these jokes absolutely just... don't work anymore - when it's actually funny, it's pretty fucking funny. Even when The Mask character isn't on screen, the film still had wit and energy throughout. Makes it all feel like Who Framed Rodger Rabbits'? evil younger brother.

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