On this modern internet battlefield, where everyone considers themselves a writer, and descriptive adjectives have lost much of their impact, I still must insist that THE MASTER OF DISGUISE is best described as astonishing.
Every single thing about this movie is shocking — beginning with the fact that it was directed by Happy Madison’s in-house production designer. Did you ever know that Adam Sandler movies have production design?!?
Next thing to wrap your head around: it’s a starring vehicle for Dana Carvey. In my opinion, Dana Carvey is never less than genuinely lovable, but even those of us who grew up on his comedy on SNL have to admit that, by 2002, Dana Carvey’s impersonation-heavy ways felt long past their sell-by date.
Then there’s the plot: Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey (really. Pistachio Disguisey.), a simple-minded waiter who finds out that he is descended from a long line of Italian masters of disguise, most recently his grandfather, Grandfather Disguisey, and his father, Fabrizio Disguisey (a traumatized James Brolin). He sets about mastering the art of disguises. Okay. However.
Not a single disguise that this guy puts on is even remotely recognizable within the sphere of human behavior — or even the laws of physics. But to call this movie and Carvey’s antics “cartoonish” doesn’t begin to cover it, and would probably result in a defamation suit from Disney.
Pistachio Disguisey’s costumes are stunningly stupid, in a way that no one else could possibly ever imagine in twenty lifetimes. It goes far beyond comedy, past the Twilight Zone, into an entirely new dimension. You pretty much have to take your eyes off what Carvey is doing, and instead just watch his incredibly-mismatched romantic lead, Jennifer Esposito, as she very visibly tries to wrap her head around what’s going on next to her.
Thankfully, there is relief: The movie barely lasts a full hour. Then the filmmakers pad out the 80-minute running time with literally fifteen minutes of bloopers and outtakes. A total calamity, but even those have their fans. I might be one of them. Ask me sometime when I’m not high off Skittles and grape soda.
This piece originally appeared on Rupert Pupkin Speaks.
Talk to me on Twitter: @jonnyabomb