A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Master of Disguise is vulgar and dumb. Pistachio is fascinated with women who have large rear ends, and he makes suggestive jokes when a character serves appetizers ("do you have a little wiener and tiny nuts?"). He disguises himself as a cow patty. And slapping an opponent while yelling "Who's your daddy?" is a way of showing manliness and competence. Pistachio himself is a annoyingly disturbing character, an odd child-man with an inexplicable accent and an unforgivable haircut.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey, the youngest in a family with magical powers to transform themselves. His father (James Brolin) never told him of the family's secret because he wanted to protect him. So little Pistachio does not know why he has a Tourette-like compulsion to imitate everyone he sees. When his parents are captured by bad guy Devlin Bowman (Brent Spiner), who suffers from intestinal distress whenever he tries his evil laugh (now are you laughing?), and it is up to Pistachio to save the day. Pistachio's grandfather (Harold Gould) arrives to give him a few quick lessons in transformation and self-defense.
Is it any good?
This misbegotten mess of a movie is a terrible disappointment for fans of Dana Carvey. It is also a disappointment for fans of comedy and fans of movies. It really is hard to imagine how the talented Carvey can have taken what sounded like a can't-miss premise and missed so completely. Carvey's genius for impressions is utterly wasted. So is his charm. So is his time. So is ours.
Weak references to classics like "The Exorcist," "Star Wars," and other oldies will have no meaning to kids. Audience members old enough to recognize Jesse Ventura, Jessica Simpson, and Bo Derek might enjoy their brief cameos. But even at less than 70 minutes, the movie feels endless, with an extended post-credit sequence that just adds insult to injury.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 2, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: January 28, 2003
- Cast: Brent Spiner, Dana Carvey, Jennifer Esposito
- Director: Perry Andelin Blake
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: bathroom humor
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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