Master Of Disguise

Movie Review by S Felce

Starring: Dana Carvey, Mark Devine, Jennifer Esposito, James Brolin, Brent Spiner, Paula Abdul

Director: Perry Andelin Blake

In this rather unfunny comedy, Dana Carvey, tries to emulate Jim Carrey and Mike Myers without success and the whole movie runs on very cheap and silly humour, playing with accents and ripping off other movies.

Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey) works in his family-run Italian restaurant with his father Fabbrizio (James Brolin) and his big Mama (Edie McClurg). He is fairly happy with his life, yet he feels something is missing still not knowing what his destiny is.

One day his parents are kidnapped and while Pistachio is home alone trying to work out what has happened, he receives a visit from his grandfather (Harold Gould) who reveals to Pistachio that he is a descendent of a long line of ‘Masters of Disguise’ who have a special power called ‘Energico’ that helps them transform into whomever they want, be it a pop star or the president of the United States. Pistachio’s father used to be a very famous ‘Master of Disguise’, but he stopped because his job had become too dangerous. The man responsible for kidnapping Pistachio’s family, Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) had been his father’s archenemy for a long time and he has now returned to take his revenge on Fabbrizio.

His grandfather teaches Pistachio how to use his power and introduces him to martial arts. The whole training session is ‘inspired’ by scenes from HARRY POTTER and ENTRAPMENT and later in the movie we see a bit of THE MATRIX as well. Pistachio is also given a beautiful assistant, Jennifer (Jennifer Esposito) to help him in his search for his parents.

The end is predictable, but to get to it we have to put up with several dull gags and Carvey’s impersonations. He is presented as the ‘new man of a thousand faces’, but his performance is poor. His imitations are not funny and of little use to the narrative, not to mention that a 23 year old Pistachio, having lived his whole life in America, still has a strong Italian accent while speaking English and cannot even pronounce ‘spaghetti’ correctly in Italian.

As the movie gradually unfolds the hope that you have come to see something funny disappears little by little, leaving you feeling nothing but disappointment.

1 out of 6 stars

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