The Master of Disguise

Bomb Rating: 

If this is Dana Carvey's idea of a kid's movie, he should be arrested for child abuse. Admittedly, I watched the whole thing completely unaware that the studio intended "Master of Disguise" for kids, though I should have gotten the hint after the third or fourth fart joke. Ultimately, the film was so painfully unfunny that I gnawed one of my own feet off just to pass the time. We now know why there was no "Wayne's World 3." There's Mike Myers funny. Then there's mutilating your genitals with boiling water and a cheese grater. Then there's Dana Carvey funny.

Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey, who's Italian and a master of disguise, though his father, Fabbrizio (James Brolin) tries to hide this fact. I suspect that, like the rest of us, Carvey saw Roberto Bengini at the Oscars a few years ago. After that, Dana Carvey wanted to pay tribute to comedy by playing an Italian. The rest of us wanted to nuke Italy.

Pistachio discovers his true nature after his father is kidnapped by Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner) and forced to steal the world's treasures by disguising himself as Michael Johnson and Jesse Ventura, among others. Of course, Fabbrizio isn't really made up to look like these people. They're the actual Michael Johnson and Jesse Ventura and the filmmakers employ that same cutesy effect used in "Mission: Impossible 2" where they make it look like Jesse Ventura is taking a mask off, but it looks ridiculously fake and stupid. Wouldn't you be more amazed if some make-up artist actually made James Brolin look like Jesse Ventura? Does this all seem sadly ironic to anybody else? We're now employing computers to do horribly unconvincing effects that were a lot more interesting 30 years ago.

Pistachio gets himself an assistant, Jennifer (Jennifer Esposito). The main problem Pistachio has with Jennifer is that her ass is too small. Pistachio would like to marry a woman who has a huge ass like his mother. There are lots of jokes about Jennifer's tiny ass so that children will become aware that ass-size is an important element in selecting a mate, I guess.

This film is a freshman directorial effort by Perry Andelin Blake, whose jobs before this included being the production designer on "Mr. Deeds," "Joe Dirt," and "Little Nicky." Say, I really noticed the production design on those films. You want to know what Blake did? He was the guy who decided where the beer cans went. If only somebody could have put a few of those beers in my hand prior to seeing this film, I might have actually made it through without feeling like the apocalypse was looming on the horizon.

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