Take the hottest actor in the known universe, add the Academy Award-Winning
writer of Braveheart, throw in four class actors, three of whom have at least
been nominated for an Academy Award in their careers, film in an incredibly
lavish palace, have a bunch of swordfights and some naked skin. What do you
A really horrible movie.
The Man in the Iron Mask is just that. Horrible. I mean really, really bad.
We're talking "Carrot Top Bad" here. It makes Pauly Shore movies look like
What makes it really bad, is that they tried. They really, really tried.
Four of the five main actors have been nominated for Academy Awards. They put
out all the stops to give this period piece a period feel. They wanted it to
be so good.
Here's the story. There's this French King, see? And he's a bad King. And
he has a twin brother who is locked away in a dungeon, wearing a big iron
mask. Three of the Four Musketeers decide to free the brother and switch him
with the King. Hilarity ensues.
First off, I have always wondered why the story of Athos, D'Artagnan, Aramis
and Porthos is called the Three Musketeers. Can't anyone count? There are
four of them! Four!!! Stupid French people, getting their damn math wrong
all the time.
To be fair, Irons, Depardieu and Byrne all give fine performances. Malkovich
also does a decent job, but he doesn't really fit.
And then there's Leo.
He should have stayed down on the sunken Titanic. A lot of people were
outraged when he wasn't nominated for Best Actor for Titanic. I think I've
discovered why he was left off the list: The voters saw this film. Did
anyone else realize that the King of France was from California? Listening to
DiCaprio try to get his mouth around this period dialogue is like listening to
Roseanne sing an aria.
And to make matters worse, he plays TWO ROLES!!!!!
They may have figured that the more Leo they could get in the film, the
better. But I say, twice nothing is still nothing.
Also, the nameless chick who plays his main love interest is even worse than
he is. But she's darned cute and removes her clothes a number of times, so
Some actors just shouldn't try accents. They may be incredible actors, but
they need to learn their limitations. Eventually, if they have any
intelligence, they learn this. Keanu Reeves should stick to surfer dudes.
Kevin Costner should stick to post-apocalyptical epics. Leo should stick to
sinking ships. Everyone wins. Except Costner of course, I mean did you SEE
Neither did anyone else.
Getting back to the apocalyptical horror at hand, The Man in the Iron Mask
teaches us an important lesson. It says, just because you wrote a great film
(Braveheart) doesn't means you should get to direct. Poor Randall Wallace, in
a perfect world, he'd get to lick his wounds from this film by making a sequel
to his big hit. But it's gonna be hard to get Mel Gibson to come back for
Braveheart 2, what with him being dead and all.
All told, The Man in the Iron Mask gets 1 1/5 Babylons, and this scant reward
is due completely to the abundance of plump breasts and the opportunity to
hear Gerard Depardieu say the word "nipple" a number of times. I was actually
going to give the film 1 2/5 Babs, but Gerard gets naked, and that'll dock
points off of any movie.
I just want to make sure you all realize what a horrible experience it was to
see Gerard Depardieu naked. Honestly, we're talking life-threatening. Not
since Harvey Keitel disrobed for The Piano has the American audience been
subjected to such cruelty.
The Man in the Iron Mask
Directed By: Randall Wallace
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich,
Gerard Depardieu and whichever Hollywood Mogul managed to get all these big
name actors into such a horrible movie.