As a kid I absolutely loved this film. I watched it so, so many times! But having not seen it in probably at least 10 years, when I saw that it was available on Sky Go, I had to see if this was as good as I remembered.
Now, seeing this film again after so many years, it did seem dated. Full of cliches, bad puns and a pretty wooden script … this film is still very enjoyable! Certainly not Jim Carrey’s best or funniest film, it is a nice introduction to his quirky kind of comedy, and was closely followed by some of his best, like Dumb and Dumber, and Liar Liar.
There are plenty of one line jokes in the film, however a lot of the laughs are the result of visual humour, so you need to be watching to get the full benefit of this film. And like all good kids movies (The Mask rated a PG) there are also plenty of jokes in there for an older audience to appreciate that would go sailing over the head of a child. Which is always nice to see when you go back and watch a film from your childhood, as you get the enjoyment of the childish humour you remember, and then discover the gems you (quite obviously would have) missed in your younger days.
With references to plenty of other fond childhood characters, be it Bugs Bunny style of dying in the gangsters arms following the fire fight, the stylings of Pepe Le Pew to try and pick up a girl, or the whirling dervish that was the Tazmanian Devil, this will probably lie close to the heart of many who were a kid when this came out, or had young children at the time.
What I also didn’t realise until watching this again, and reading a bit about the film, this was actually Cameron Diaz’s first ever film. Which may explain why she is very wooden at times, but none the less, incredibly beautiful! Cameron Diaz has probably never looked better than she does in this film … I mean, wow! Or as The Mask would say … “SMOKIN!”
The story is pretty 2 dimensional, a nice, shy guy, can’t get girls (classic nice guy finishes last), finds a mask that turns him into the ultimate prankster with bags of confidence ultimately leading to mayhem, and trouble, throw in a cartoon-esque bad guy gangster and a pretty girl and you’ve got yourself a film. But although there are plenty of misses in this film, there are enough hits for this to be worth a re-visit. It certainly isn’t one you would watch regularly, but every few years it should do enough to give you a few chuckles.
Despite it’s flaws, I still love this film and will alway remember it fondly. I first saw it with my brother on a VHS (wow, remember those!) when I must have been maybe 4 or 5, (possibly 6 or 7, I can’t really remember my exact age) when I was on holiday in Cornwall, at the time it was the funniest thing I had ever seen and I was absolutely mesmerised by it, we must have watched it dozens of times, and although not my favourite childhood movie (that honour goes to Toy Story, which also happens to be favourite film ever) that is how I will always remember it.
Seeing it now, the film feels like a 6/10, but for the memories it brought back, it has to be an 8/10.