a critiQal film review The Master of Disguise (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: When Pistachio Disguisey’s (Carvey) parents are kidnapped by bad guy Devlin Bowman (Spiner), it’s up to him to save them. With his uncle’s (Gould) help, he discovers his true destiny: He’s the next generation of a family of masters in the art of disguise. With his uncle’s training and help from assistant Jennifer (Esposito), he must become The Master of Disguise and defeat Devlin.

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  • ...an embarrassing try by Dana Carvey to recapture his glory days.

After a long hiatus, Dana Carvey has returned in The Master of Disguise. Having seen some of his earlier pictures (especially Clean Slate), it was nice to see Dana Carvey has returned.

Then I saw the trailer for the new film. I wasn’t too impressed. It didn’t look very interesting, but I rented it, hoping to be surprised.

Dana Carvey hasn’t been acting for awhile, and it shows. It’s sad, really. He was great back on “Saturday Night Live” (TV), and when he broke into feature films, he seemed to fit easily into the roles he was given.

Then he took a few years off and tried to jump right back into it, but seems to have forgotten much of what he had. Mr. Peru (the Al Pacino impersonation) was the best of the assortment, and was definitely the highlight of the disguises.

Jennifer Esposito seemed a bit out of place, and was mostly there just to have someone react to all of Carvey’s disguises.

The bit parts played by everyone from Jessica Simpson to Jesse Ventura were fun, and outshone most of the rest of the film.

The plot behind The Master of Disguise was silly. Sure, this was kids’ movie, but there should have been a little more depth. The whole film was just a showcase for Dana Carvey’s impersonations, and the plot seemed to just be tacked on as an afterthought.

The special effects in The Master of Disguise were pretty good. The change from the cameo appearances to pulling off the masks was seamless most of the time, although there were some obvious cutaways. The extra effects, such as the ‘Disguisey ball’ and the odd way to enter the nest were a bit overdone, and could have been left out.

The Master of Disguise came out at the wrong time. If this film had come out back when Dana Carvey was fresh off of “Saturday Night Live” (TV), he would have been able to carry it off with much more ease. Plus, they could have always thrown in some classic characters like the Church Lady or Frans as one of the disguises.

After such a long hiatus, Dana Carvey just couldn’t pull off the film, and it was a bit embarrassing to watch him try. Don’t bother renting The Master of Disguise, even if you have kids. Chances are they aren’t going to like it either.

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