In this sparkling showcase for Jim Carrey, he plays a drippy bank clerk who finds a magical ancient mask and is transformed into a confident charmer.
The lunatic logic of cartoon comedy and the more rounded humour of live-action farce are uproariously combined in this hilarious comedy.
Once Carrey tries on the mask, he discovers he can dance, dodge bullets, produce all manner of amazing odds and ends from his pockets and, not least, pop his own eyes out on stalks.
The special effects are the making of the movie, but it’s Carrey’s supreme sense of fun that gives the story its shape.
Crucially, he’s just as good at playing the wimp as the warrior and his initial encounters with a super-glamorous Cameron Diaz (making her screen debut) are bashful fun of the first order.
Carrey’s irrepressible style is aided immensely by some expert choreography that makes the action scenes seem like something out of a classic Hollywood musical – in one great sequence the cops confronting him actually join in the dancing!