THE MASTER OF DISGUISE, starring "Saturday Night Live" veteran Dana
Carvey as Pistachio Disguisey, is non-stop, bad slapstick. The story's
one joke is that Pistachio and his father (James Brolin) are Disguiseys.
Throughout history, the Disguiseys have been able to take on someone
or something's identity. From a turtle to a cow pie, Pistachio quickly
learns how to impersonate them all.
When it can't think anything else to do, the script, written by Dana
Carvey and Harris Goldberg, falls back on those old reliables, flatulence
jokes and pratfalls. One supposedly humorous incident has Pistachio,
working as a waiter in his father's restaurant, dropping five plates
of spaghetti on a table of diners. As they sit there like statues
with pasta and sauce all over them, the customers have parmesan cheese
grated over their heads by Pistachio. His irritating, fake Italian
accent is so grating that I found myself wishing that the blabbermouths
behind me would talk louder so that they could drown him out.
Pistachio wants to marry a girl just like the girl that married dear
old dad, which means one with buttocks the size of a Volkswagen.
When he hires a cute assistant (Jennifer Esposito), his only complaint
about her is that she is "tush challenged."
The minimal plot has Pistachio trying to thwart a villain (Brent Spiner)
who is stocking "Black MarkEBay" with the unwilling help of Pistachio's
father. This setup allows Pistachio to try on an unending series of
supposedly funny faces.
The only saving grace to the picture is the delightfully strong performance
by Esposito, whom you will remember as the detective in last year's
DON'T SAY A WORD, starring Michael Douglas. One hopes that directors
will see her charming work in this miserable movie and cast her in
a good romantic comedy. She deserves it.
THE MASTER OF DISGUISE runs 1:20. It is rated PG for "mild language
and some crude humor" and would be acceptable for kids of all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave the movie one half of a star, saying
that he thought "it stunk."
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes