The Master of Disguise
The Master of Disguise is a 2002 American adventure comedy film directed by Perry Andelin Blake and written by Dana Carvey and Harris Goldberg. Starring Carvey, Jennifer Esposito, Harold Gould, James Brolin, and Brent Spiner, the film was produced by Carvey's Saturday Night Live alumnus Adam Sandler through his Happy Madison production company. The film was released on August 2, 2002.
Pistachio Disguisey, a genial waiter at his father Frabbrizio's Italian restaurant, possesses an uncanny knack for mimicry. What he doesn't know is that his talent is genetic, and that he is the descendent of a long line of "Masters of Disguise," all of whom have inherited the secret family gift known as Energico. Initially, Pistachio is a klutz, but little by little, he learns to harness his inherited power, and sallies forth to utilize Energico to its fullest.
Why It Sucks
- Incredibly bad jokes and poorly written humor (especially the flatulence humor, which is done 9 times.)
- The character of Pistachio Disguisey (while a nice guy) is very annoying and really stupid. He's too oblivious to know his surroundings in some scenes, constantly happy and creepily smiling with his eyes crossed all throughout the film. He basically has no identity outside making weird faces. Furthermore, he doesn’t even sound like a real Italian. If anything, He sounds like Grandpa Munster from The Munsters with an accent.
- There are deleted scenes and bloopers throughout the ending credits, all of which are overly long.
- There are constant disguise changes throughout the movie, with each character from the disguise somehow being more annoying than Pistachio himself. One, in particular, is his infamous turtle disguise, in which all he does is shout the word "turtle" in a Kermit the Frog with down syndrome-like voice for the whole scene.
- To add insult to injury, this particular scene was seen the most in all these advertisements, so this was the main highlight for comedy. What a disappointment.
- Very weird story.
- Poor writing.
- The Master of Disguise killed the careers of its cast and crew.
- Perry Andelin Blake has not directed another film due to the failure of this movie.
- Brent Spiner only makes very small supporting roles in movies and special guest appearances in TV shows.
- Dana Carvey went on hiatus for the next 8 years and as of 2021, he only does stand up comedy and television with the occasional minor role in films.
- Incredibly insulting scenes. One notable example is when Pistachio and his grandfather are finding an assistant for Pistachio. When they find Jennifer, they think she is cute and is a good assistant for Pistachio, but they say that there is just one problem with her, and that is because "her butt is too small".
- Awkward character names, especially for our main protagonists.
- The final battle is very anticlimactic, Pistachio doesn't even get to fight Bowman, he only fights his father that is disguised as Bowman.
- There is no real ending. All that happens is Pistachio scaring Bowman by disguising himself as George W. Bush, pushing Bowman into a pool, and then Bowman farting in the pool.
- The entire story and concept was interesting but was just done wrong.
- Jennifer is a likable character.
- The soundtrack is decent.
- The costume designs are pretty nifty.
- The Cuteness is an awesome dog.
- There are some quotes that were amusing including "This is what you're doing. This is what I want you to do! Any questions?"
- That fart jokes were funny at first (unfortunately, it ended up being so overused, with the joke becoming worse each time, that the movie killed the fart joke).
- The film was a lot better than Eddie Murphy's The Adventures of Pluto Nash, as while both films where released in August 2002 to critical failures, The Master of Disguise actually has some funny moments unlike The Adventures of Pluto Nash (Additionally, The Master of Disguise did better at the box office than The Adventures of Pluto Nash).
The Master of Disguise was panned by critics and audiences. The film holds a 1% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 2.3 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "An ill-conceived attempt to utilize Dana Carvey's talent for mimicry, The Master of Disguise is an irritating, witless farce weighted down by sophomoric gags.". On Metacritic, the film has a 12 out of 100 score based on 24 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".
Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film with one star and stated "The movie is a desperate miscalculation. It gives poor Dana Carvey nothing to do that is really funny, and then expects us to laugh because he acts so goofy all the time." Matthew Turner of ViewLondon described the film as "a serious contender for The Worst Film Ever Made." and Richard Roeper stated "If The Master of Disguise had been a free cable movie - - well, I still wouldn’t have recommended it." Jim Lane of Sacramento News & Review awarded the film one star and stated "This pathetic junk is barely an hour long. Nevertheless, it still seems endless."
The Master of Disguise opened up at #3 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $12,554,650. It would later make a total domestic gross of $40,388,794. In overseas markets, the film made $3,022,207. Overall, the film made a worldwide gross of $43,411,001 against its $16 million budget, making it moderate box office success, despite being universally panned.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress, but lost to Madonna for Die Another Day.
- The Turtle Club scene was filmed on September 11th 2001. When word of the terrorist attacks reached the set, the cast and crew had a moment of silence.
- Dana Carvey made this film for his children because the majority of his projects were not family-friendly.
- As of right now, this was Dana Carvey's last film where he played a leading role.