Reviewed by: James W. Huston
Starring: Dana Carvey, Jennifer Esposito, Harold Gould, James Brolin, Brent Spiner | Directed by: Perry Andelin Blake | Produced by: Sid Ganis, Alex Siskin, Barry Bernardi, Todd Garner, Sidney Ganis, Adam Sandler | Written by: Dana Carvey, Harris Goldberg | Distributor: Columbia Pictures
“The Master of Disguise” is perhaps the worst movie I’ve seen in five years. While my eleven-year-old had heard it was hilarious and was excited to see the film, ratings I had read that listed content information appeared to be somewhat approving. But every minute I saw in the theater was one more where my regret for that decision surfaced even further. Admittedly, there were people in the theater laughing out loud, but I didn’t even crack a smile. Not once. “Master” was just so juvenile, silly, un-clever, un-creative, and even mildly offensive. The biggest laughs the movie receives are when one character farts continuously. (If that word offends you, and you wish I would use the much more acceptable word of “flatulence”, then you will surely want to skip this film.)
Our plot focuses on one Pistachio Disguisey (Carvey), a young man who belongs to a family that are Masters of Disguise. They can resemble virtually anyone: from Bo Derek, to Michael Johnson, to George Bush or whomever. Pistachio is called on to use his special skills to save his parents from kidnapping by a baddie who wants to steal all the valuable art and treasures in the world: the Mona Lisa, the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Bell, etc. You get the picture.
One keeps hoping that among the set scenes and disguises, one will be at least amusing. None of them are. And it just gets worse. Carvey’s fake Italian accent is nothing but annoying—throughout the entire film.
Am I getting to the point where juvenile humor just doesn’t work for me? Did the intended adolescent audience even appreciate Carvey’s attempt at humor? With a poorly conceived and sadly executed script, “The Master of Disguise” is among the comedies that don’t work.