Quick DVD Review – ‘The Master of Disguise’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley.

It’s time to talk about a Christmas present my best mate from school, Stephen, gave me in 2022. And of course this is a Christmas present Stephen gave me, because I wouldn’t be reviewing this supposed ‘adventure comedy’ film by choice if it hadn’t been given to me as a Christmas present. 😀

Last year, I reviewed ‘Birdemic: Shock and Terror’, which Stephen gave me for Christmas in 2021. Even though I raised many points on why the movie was so bad, I still recommended people to check it out to see how bad it was. There was a charm to ‘Birdemic’, despite its casting and editing choices.

‘The Master of Disguise’ is a completely different kettle of fish compared to ‘Birdemic’. It’s awful certainly, but it doesn’t have the charm that I would expect to see in a film. It’s fascinating to check out if you want to satisfy your curiosity, but it doesn’t mean you will have a rewarding experience. 😦

There’s a pattern to the Christmas presents I’ve been getting from my best mate Stephen, hasn’t there? He gives me bad movies to check out and review – ones which have been reviewed by the Nostalgia Critic and JonTron. 😀 I look forward to the second Christmas present Stephen has got me. 🙂

‘The Master of Disguise’ was released in 2002. It’s one of the films by Happy Madison, a production company run by Adam Sandler. I’m surprised Adam Sandler didn’t cameo in this film, despite having an executive producer credit to it. It’s my first experience of a Happy Madison film and it’s not good.

The film stars Dana Carvey, who also co-wrote the film with Harris Goldberg. It depicts Dana Carvey as a man who follows in the footsteps of his family’s legacy by becoming a ‘Master of Disguise’. He’s trained by his grandfather so he can rescue his parents who have been kidnapped by a master criminal.

Now, here’s the thing. ‘The Master of Disguise’ is a movie that could have worked. I stress ‘could have’, because the idea of a man donning many disguises to stop a master criminal could have been clever and very entertaining. It would’ve also showcased Dana Carvey’s comedic talents in the film. 🙂

Sadly, the huge problem with ‘The Master of Disguise’ is that it’s not funny. This isn’t a good thing, especially when you’re trying to appreciate this as a comedy. ‘The Master of Disguise’ is regarded as one of the worst movies ever made and it’s not hard to see why that is when watching it on the DVD.

Dana Carvey as Pistachio Disguisey (Yes, I know how ridiculous that surname is 😀 ) doesn’t come across as being funny, especially when he puts on a silly voice to play a character. I’m not sure if that’s his real voice, especially when he plays some of the other characters when going in disguise. 😐

‘The Mask’ works better for me as a film, because Jim Carrey was allowed to use his normal voice for the most part before he put on a different voice when becoming the Mask in the film. It was a struggle to identify with Dana Carvey’s Pistachio character, especially as he often acted silly and stupid.

The character disguises he plays in the film are often put to waste, including Gammy Num Nums, Terry Suave, George W. Bush (a sign of how dated this film is, perhaps?) and the Turtle Guy. I admit, I found the Turtle Guy a little amusing, but that’s only because he’s so ridiculous when you watch him.

The film also features Brent Spiner as Devlin Bowman, the master criminal and enemy of the Disguisey family. As well as ‘Star Trek’, the only other time I’ve seen him in a non-‘Star Trek’ role as well as ‘The Master of Disguise’ is 2008’s ‘Superhero Movie’ (which I haven’t seen all of and it’s so dreadful).

I feel bad about Brent Spiner, as he’s a very good actor and it’s such a shame to see him in this supposed comedy film. The only things I can remember about him as Devlin Bowman is that he’s the villain and he farts a lot. The farting humour isn’t funny. I know the film’s getting desperate at this point.

There’s Jennifer Esposito as Jennifer Baker, who aids Pistachio to tackle Devlin. As far as I’m concerned, Jennifer as the actress and the character is doing her best with the material she’s being given. She seems likeable, especially when this semi-romance is going on between her and Pistachio.

But another problem with this film is that there’s a huge lack of character development going on, and there’s more focus on Dana Carvey showcasing how silly he can be. Some have complained the film is too long and it doesn’t know when to stop. Well, as far as I’m concerned, many of the film’s scenes are too short.

When I watch a film or a TV production, I want to get to know the characters and appreciate their relationships with each other. ‘The Master of Disguise’ doesn’t provide that luxury, although knowing how awful the film gets as it goes along, it’s probably best that it went by quickly for me. 😀

The film also features Harold Gould as Grandpa Disguisey, James Brolin (who I appreciated more in this film than ‘Lightyear’) as Fabbrizio Disguisey, Pistachio’s father and Edie McClurg as ‘Mama’ Disguisey. There’s also Michael Bailey Smith as Bald Henchman and Vincent Riverside as Henchman.

There’s Austin Wollff as Barney, Jennifer Baker’s son, Jay Johnston as Rex, Maria Canals as Sophia and Mark Devine as Trent. Erick Avari (who I’ve seen in a couple of ‘Star Trek’ episodes, 2003’s ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Home Alone 4’) plays the Cigar Maker at the Turtle Club. It was nice to see him here.

Celebrities like Kenan Thompson and Jessica Simpson also make guest cameos in the film. There’s a dog called the Cuteness (surely he must have a name), and there’s Gabriel Pimental, who I’m sure plays Mario, at the film’s end after the end credits. 😀 Incidentally, I hope I’ll see the new ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ later in 2023.

So, as you can tell, I’m not a fan of ‘The Master of Disguise’. I appreciate my best mate Stephen getting this film for me last Christmas, since I’m sure he wanted me to review it and I’m glad I’ve seen it to satisfy my curiosity. But this isn’t a ‘comedy’ film that I’d want to see again and again on DVD. 😦

It’s a shame. The film has the atmosphere of a feel-good comedy, despite Dana Carvey not delivering the comedy required for his character, and the film is generally unfunny. As far as I’m concerned, if you want a really good ‘Master of Disguise’, the Master in ‘Doctor Who’ can oblige. 😀

Thanks for reading.

Bye for now.

Tim 🙂

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