Viewing #2 is over and I’m still feeling great! I laughed more this time through than in the maiden voyage. I am noticing that my anticipation of certain lines is only enhancing them! Pretty soon I’ll be able to quote all the lines from memory, which is probably the saddest party trick in humanity.
The main strength of The Master of Disguise (if such a think can be said, which it can, because I JUST DID) is in the characters that Dana Carvey creates as disguises for the hero Pistachio. That being said, it’s time to analyze and grade all of Pistachio’s disguises in the movie!
(in order of appearance)
This is the very first disguise in the movie! How sentimental. Grandpa Disguisey has just taught Pistachio how to “become another person” using the powers of Energico. Thankfully for Pistachio, Prince Lamijama (or whatever his name is) was just for practice. The prince doesn’t have much going for him. He is pretty much a one-dimensional racial stereotype of an Indian snake charmer. Nothing all that clever, and a lot that is…well, racist.
The prince does have one redeeming quality and that is the smooth jazz that he blasts from his magic flute to soothe the cobra. It’s a nice touch to hear Kenny G amidst all the chaos of the movie. Wait… I take it back. That’s actually really lame. In fact, the only thing that could have been lamer than Kenny G is that band Fun, but they probably weren’t around in 2002.
Prince Lamijabaracist gets 3.5/10 Energico points. Really getting things off on the wrong foot here.
Redemption comes fast! The iconic figure of The Master of Disguise. The one who stands above all in popularity. The one who dominates the preview. The one who is probably the only thing that 90% of the people who have seen Master of Disguise remember. The turtle is incredible. What makes him so funny is the context surrounding him. He is Pistachio’s first necessary disguise and he uses him to sneak into the high society “Turtle Club” in search of the villainous Bowman. Oh silly Pistachio! You didn’t get it’s just a name, how funny! HAHA! Jennifer’s ad libbing to make the turtle seem like a special needs child with some strange sort of shell-like birth defect is what really sells this disguise. I actually think it would work in real life! Who could say no to an adorable, strange young man who has dreamt of joining a turtle club his whole life and feeling accepted for once? Shame on the suited jerks who laugh at him and offer him pond water! The turtle works. The turtle works it. He ranks among the best characters in modern cinema. You have probably quoted him before saying “turtle.” Don’t lie. (but what the hell is up with the crazy nose biting sequence? The movie is SO realistic other than that weird CGI enhanced “got your nose” moment)
10/10 Energico points. A master disguise!
oops. wrong picture?
Gammy Num Nums:
Gammy is a sass machine granny that Pistachio uses to disguise himself while at a rare art appraisal meeting trying to track Devlin Bowman. She is quite wonderful. Spunky! Flirtatious! And quite scornful when Bowman rejects her advances! She possesses a take no nonsense attitude and an uppity snobbery perfect for her setting amongst the collectors. Her finer qualities come through with the line:
“Let me appraise you. You’re an idiot. A complete and total idiot.”
Not only does the name Gammy Num Nums roll right off the tongue, she provides some of the best quotes of the film ranging from, “Well… you’re a tall drink of water. And I just love Moisture” to “Take a gammy off my nummy nums” (which I believe I have said to someone I was dating once). My only complaint was that there wasn’t MORE Gammy. I’d like to see a spin off film soon.
Gammy gets 10/10 Energico points. A master disguise!
Mr. Peru (the Tony Montana riff)
If I didn’t see Mr. Peru listed in the credits I wouldn’t have known that was his name. I would have just called him Tony Montana, the character from Scarface whom he emulates. Slightly less racist than the Prince, only because he is imitating a popular film icon, Mr. Peru provides far more humor. Used to distract Devlin at his mansion while Jennifer searches for clues, Mr. Peru delivers some solidly humorous lines. When brought a platter of crab cakes he exclaims at the poor caterer, “With your attitude, they should be called “crabby cakes”” PRICELESS. Genius even. It’s followed up with Mr. Peru delivering the Heimlich to Bowman to delay his exit. He then apologizes, with a truly underrated gem:
“He was not choking and I was doing the Heimlich maneuver. I am sorry. That could be dangerous. If someone is not choking… NO MANEUVER.”
It has occurred to me upon reading the quotes that they are not funny at all. I guess that is a true testament to the comic styling of Carvey, no? The lack of originality and a horrible dance scene lower Mr. Peru’s Energico score
5/10 Energico points.
Rambling Boat Man a La Jaws
The rambling man on a boat is used to hide Pistachio from evil henchmen who are chasing after him. While he lacks originality as well, his voice is spot on and the nonsense he garbles is unadulterated-grade A-nonsense. Perhaps the most ridiculous line in the movie belongs to Boat Man with, “Ever seen a shark’s eyes, chief? Kinda like dolls eyes, all black and lifeless like. 39 kids go in the water. 32 kids come out of the water. The ice cream man he take the rest. April the 9th, half past 4 pm.” It’s worth noting that this disguise actually fails Pistachio due to him not covering his arm hair. Tangent: I once rode Jaws the ride repeatedly with a friend of mine to annoy the tour guide actor when we started to anticipate what was going to happen out loud.
7/10 Energico points
Immediately after the boat man fiasco Pistachio camouflages himself as a cow pie that a henchman steps in. Yuk. Yuk. Hardy Har. Poo joke.
4/10 Energico points
I laughed and laughed and laughed and then cried at the futility of this project. I love Constable Muehler. He appears at Devlin’s mansion looking for Jennifer and introduces himself in what I believe is a Swiss-German accent as a Tax Authority. This character makes it clear that this move had no script. Muehler giggles and rambles and wanders and has buckteeth and is kind of sexy. He is entirely aimless and in a way gives the whole movie a psychedelic edge. I am also capable of imitating him which is a plus and also kind of sad.
8/10 Energico Points
He’s dashing and debonair, smooth and sophisticated. He is essentially a James Bond knock. He appears suddenly and leaves just as quickly, but not before gifting the audience with a line that should be added to everyone’s everyday vernacular, “Get it? Got it? Doubt it. (wink)” Suave will make a fan out of the non-believers.
7.5/10 Energico Points
Pistachio becomes a cherry pie to sneak into a black market auction. He then looks like some slimy sweet Swamp Thing that shoots cherries at the henchmen. Pretty weird. Also, it’s technically the second pie costume (cow pie), which in an 80-minute movie seems ridiculous.
6/10 Energico points
Steve the Henchman:
Ah! How clever, disguise yourself as the enemy! Unfortunately for
Pistachio he forgets the shoes and is caught wearing his cherry pie costume underneath! BLASTED!!!!! Not much humor here, but an interesting twist
4/10 Energico points
President George W. Bush:
This is the disguise that finally catches Bowman. It’s a pretty decent Dubbya imitation that’s lifted straight from SNL. So if you have ever watched Carvey on Saturday nights the surprise isn’t really there. It’s awesome how in 25 years this will be incredibly dated. Then again, the president is certainly not the only thing that will be totally obsolete about this movie in the future. JUST LISTEN TO THE SOUNDTRACK!!! (more on this in the future)
6/10 Energico points (would be higher but at this point everyone is sick of this shit)
THE WINNER?: GAMMY NUM NUMS!!!! While the turtle is more important of a character, Gammy has more depth and leaves you wanting more!
Groucho Marx, Kookie Toy Store Guy, BOB ROSS, A Dinosaur, Spartacus (Curius Maximus), Forest Gump, A French dude disguised as a queen, ventriloquist, Dracula
These all appear in the rapid-fire credits and some additionally in deleted scenes. What’s perhaps the most impressive thing here is that there was actually some thought that went into editing this movie. These dudes didn’t make the cut?! WHY? Could they have made it any worse? I’d give anything to see the Director’s Cut with all these characters. Make it four hours long! Bring it on! I’d especially love to see more of the Toy Store man, but maybe he’s in some deleted scenes. I’ll look later.
Congratulations! You have made it through all of the disguises in Master of Disguise!!!! (well, just Pistachio’s…) I am sure it was almost as hard for you as it was for me to write this.
I am now a LEVEL 2 (600/7000 in movie scale) APPRENTICE on the way to becoming The Master of the Master of Disguise!