Mask Of Death

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Crime, Martial Arts

Impersonating twins is really more difficult than Patty Duke made it look on her old TV show. Sporting only superficial differences in his portrayal of lookalikes on opposite sides of the law, Lorenzo Lamas is even less convincing as a pair of twins than Jean-Claude Van Damme was in DOUBLE IMPACT (1991). Mercenary Lyle Mason (Lorenzo Lamas) meets Mafia...read more

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Impersonating twins is really more difficult than Patty Duke made it look on her old TV show. Sporting only superficial differences in his portrayal of lookalikes on opposite sides of the law, Lorenzo Lamas is even less convincing as a pair of twins than Jean-Claude Van Damme was in

DOUBLE IMPACT (1991).

Mercenary Lyle Mason (Lorenzo Lamas) meets Mafia upstart Frank Dalilo (Conrad Dunn) to sell him a top-secret Russian microchip. When he discovers that Frank is cooperating with the FBI to trap him, Lyle forces Frank to speedboat him away. They crash the boat ashore and take hostages from a party

of campers, including detective Turner (Rae Dawn Chong) and Rachel (Clara Turner), the wife of police officer McKenna (also Lamas). In the melee that ensues when McKenna returns from the woods, Rachel is killed by Frank and Lyle is quickly killed by McKenna. Frank escapes.

Recuperating in the hospital, McKenna is apprised of his uncanny resemblance to the dead Lyle. Because Lyle's mob employers aren't aware that their hired killer is dead, McKenna agrees to go undercover as Lyle. Meanwhile, detective Turner (who believes that her partner McKenna is dead) pursues her

own investigation. McKenna is forced to kill Frank's brother, some unlucky cops, and a few of Frank's henchmen to maintain the deception. McKenna convinces Frank that he is really Lyle and sets up another rendezvous for the microchip trade. McKenna handcuffs Frank to a cash-filled briefcase which

also contains a bomb. In the ensuing explosion, Frank and his mob cronies are killed. McKenna survives and is reunited with Turner.

Smashups, martial arts battles, and sprays of gunfire punctuate this confusing film which views logic as a liability and plot coherence as an inconvenience. With neither stylish direction a la John Woo (whose 1997 FACE/OFF it resembles) nor decent acting, this is simply hogwash. Unable to freshen

up the narrative, director David Mitchell ends even expository scenes on hysterical notes and encourages competent actors like Rae Dawn Chong to shout every line. Other problems include the extraneous nature of the scenes with the slippery FBI agents and the unsatisfying integration of segments

with Lyle Mason's girlfriend, Danielle (Heather Hanson). Even worse is the scriptwriter's pitiful attempt to show how noble McKenna's personality is being supplanted by that of soulless Lyle. With the narcissism of a male model, Lamas is a humorless, passive screen presence whose films work only

when he's kept in constant motion. In this dire movie, he isn't. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity.)

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Impersonating twins is really more difficult than Patty Duke made it look on her old TV show. Sporting only superficial differences in his portrayal of lookalikes on opposite sides of the law, Lorenzo Lamas is even less convincing as a pair of twins than J… (more)

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