Mask, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a bank clerk and nice guy, represses the urge to tell his boss, his landlady, and attractive nightclub singer, Tina Carlyle (Amy Yasbek) what he thinks. That all changes when he discovers an old wooden mask in the river. When he puts it on, Stanley becomes a cartoon-like character, The Mask, with an impish expression who acts like Stanley would like to be. The next night, The Mask takes money from the bank just ahead of a gang of robbers working for Dorian (Peter Greene). While The Mask is dancing with Tina at the nightclub owned by Dorian, he's recognized by Dorian's gang. The Mask escapes but Dorian puts a price on his head. Police Lt. Kellaway (Peter Reigert) is after The Mask and Stanley too. When Dorian steals the mask and Stanley is caught by Kellaway, it's up to Max, Stanley's dog, to save the day. But can they get the mask back from Dorian? This fast paced cartoon-like film keeps you laughing while rooting for the underdog. It is suspenseful and imaginative and will appeal especially to youthful audiences.

Stanley's transformation from man to cartoon may be a little scary for younger kids. As The Mask, he can bounce off walls, fall from great heights and peel himself up from the pavement. He whirls like the Tazmanian Devil and his body can contort while dancing or dodging bullets. When evil Dorian wears the mask, it takes on a sinister appearance. Besides cartoon-like violence, there are some real shootings, gun threats and fist fights. While wearing The Mask, Dorian is shot, but spits the bullets out like his body were a gun. Some crude language, a few obscenities and profanity mar the dialogue, but there's no nudity or sex. However, Tina does wear low cut, form-fitting dresses, and once The Mask pulls a condom from his pocket. The crudest action is Milo urinating on a gangster. An authority on Scandinavian lore tells Stanley the mask was worn by Loki, the god of mischief. Stanley feels that somehow Loki's spirit controls whoever wears the mask. The dialogue has a few adult jokes which will probably pass over young children's heads. Overall, THE MASK has just enough questionable elements to avoid a PG rating and prevent our recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
New Line Cinema, 575 8th Avenue, 16th Flr, NY, NY 10018

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (13) times - Mild 7, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Few (3) times (no s- or f-words)

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 2, Exclamatory 3

Violence: Many times - Moderate (cartoon-like with bouncing off walls, fall to pavement, hits on head and bomb swallowed; real gun threats, gun shots, fist fight, kick in crotch, dog bite, woman tied to bomb

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (girl in low-cut dress; leering looks; condom pulled from pocket; singer's suggestive motions

Drugs: Cigarette smoking shown as 'cool'

Other: Mask wearers controlled by spirit of pagan god; dog urinates on man

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teens, adults

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