Movies:Movie Reviews:The Master of Disguise

The Master of Disguise

Director(s): Perry Andelin Blake

Writer(s): Dana Carvey and Harris Goldberg

Cast: Dana Carvey, James Brolin, Brent Spiner, Jennifer Esposito, Harold Gould and Edie McLurg

Reviewed by: Ian Evans on

Release Date(s)

Aug 2, 2002 - Wide

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I always enjoyed Dana Carvey’s work on SNL so I came into his new film, The Master of Disguise, with a fair amount of goodwill. It didn’t last long.

The film follows Pistachio Disguisey (Dana Carvey), a mild-mannered waiter who doesn’t realize that his family is from a long line of crime-fighters. When his father (James Brolin) and mother (Edie McLurg) are kidnapped, Pistachio must learn of his unique destiny. With the help of his grandfather (Harold Gould) and his lovely assistant (Jennifer Esposito), Pistachio becomes the Master of Disguise.

The film is terribly short with an end credits section that goes on forever. These aren’t your usual credit scroll bloopers, but snippets of entire scenes and sets that were presumably cut out to make sure this film was a toddler-friendly length. I guess only toddlers could find the repetitive farting of the evil Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) amusing, though I’m probably selling the poor kids short. Perhaps the producers felt a need to get Spiner away from his Star Trek android character Data, and hey, what’s more human than passing gas? Nah, that much thought wasn’t put into this.

Once you make the mistake of buying a ticket to this film, you won’t be able to leave. There’s a hypnotic power to this cinematic failure that’s like rubbernecking a car crash. It’s the movie answer to the limbo-dancing question, “How low can you go?”

The producers say that this film is aimed at kids and perhaps they meant the baby goats that will eat the garbage shown here. The children at the screening I attended were more interested in aisle racing than the steady stream of fart jokes. Perhaps the 5-year-olds just weren’t the intended audience for Carvey’s dead-on impression of Robert Shaw’s Quint from __Jaws__…

Dana Carvey has not found his groove with this role. Gould, Brolin and McLurg are wasted. The only bright spot is Jennifer Esposito who not only manages to act human, but also is damn sexy to boot. This is an actress in search of a lead role in a romantic comedy. If she can sell the growing affection she has for Pistachio Disguisey, she can sell any romance.

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