Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Q. What if Jim Carrey were a cartoon character?

A. He'd lose something.

Jim Carrey, I hope we can all agree, is one funny performer, which this film demonstrates admirably.

Here the juxtaposition of his downtrodden everyman persona against his insane over-performing kidult is a thing to behold. There is little similarity between the two guises, and the sheer energy with which he flourishes every line as the Mask is a reminder of just what a fantastic comic actor he is.

It's a shame then, that this terrific vehicle for his talents invests so little of his screen time in this personality, and when it does, he's often replaced by an actual cartoon, robbing us of his abilities. This film needs more Jim, not less.

Elsewhere, the everyday scenes that take up so much of the running time offer little originality, and maybe that's the point. I was impressed at the role-reversal of the two women in Stanley Ipkiss' life, but Carrey's real co-star here is Max as Milo the dog. That quizzical pooch could lead a movie on his own.

The storyline is lazy, with the opening diver's death never returned to and the principal character getting away with robbery, but there are plenty of good moments for the patient.

Ultimately though, for a film that excels every time that Carrey is allowed to do his usual manic thing, it is a mystery why this is kept to such a minimum.

Available here.
Review of the sequel Son Of The Mask here.

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