YMMV / The Master of Disguise

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Pistachio autistic? Look at the evidence:
    • He impersonates people who are right in front of him and doesn't seem capable of seeing how offensive it is.
    • He has only one facial expression, when he's not actively disguising himself.
    • He dresses up in weird costumes as a hobby, using things like shaving cream. Remember that he's over 30.
    • He mutters incessantly to himself and has poor posture.
    • He has an accent inconsistent not only where the film is set, but also where he grew up (presumably), America. Even with an immigrant father, and knowing Italian, he should sound like most everyone else in the film due to needing to speak English more than Italian outside of his home.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Pistachio, as Turtle Guy, biting a guy's nose off cartoon-style then spitting it back onto the guy's face. What? How? Why? Who knows.
    • A Downplayed moment when Pistachio randomly quotes a certain Madonna song while Fabrizzio tries to give him a pep talk.
    Pistachio: But, Papa? Don't preach. I'm in trouble deep, and I'm keeping my baby.
    Fabrizzio: Say what?
    Pistachio: What?
  • Bile Fascination: The real reason why people are interested in seeing this, is to see exactly how bad it is.
  • Designated Hero: Had the film been set up with Jennifer as the actual hero and Pistachio as a Bumbling Sidekick who keeps the bad guys distracted while she gets stuff done, chances are audiences would have been a lot more forgiving.
  • Double Entendre: From the notorious end credits scene. "I'm not the dummy, he's the dummy! Can you believe how stiff he is?"
  • Ending Fatigue: The film compromises for its scant 64-minute runtime by having nonstop outtakes, deleted scenes and other such Padding both during and after the credits.
    Roger Ebert: The credits go on and on and on. The movie is like a party guest who thinks he is funny and is wrong. The end credits are like the same guest taking too long to leave. At one point they at last mercifully seemed to be over, and the projectionist even closed the curtains, but no: There was Dana Carvey, still visible against the red velvet, asking us what we were still doing in the theater. That is a dangerous question to ask after a movie like The Master of Disguise.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Jennifer, due to Jennifer Esposito somehow managing to do well with the material, and the fact that for a large part of the film she's the only person actually managing to get anything accomplished.
    • Among the various personas adopted by Pistachio, his version of George W. Bush was about the only one that everyone agreed was perfectly on-target. Terry Suave was also regarded as, if nothing else, less annoying than most of the other characters, due to Carvey giving a more restrained performance instead of the broad comedy he went for elsewhere.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Not really an extreme example, but Sophia's line about Pistachio's silly faces and weird voices only being funny "for one second" is pretty much how everyone who saw the movie felt.
  • Fridge Logic: The whole point of disguise is to avoid drawing attention and suspicion to yourself, which is the exact opposite of what Pistachio does the entire movie.
  • Hype Backlash: A minor example. While expectations of the movie certainly weren't high to begin with, the aggressive marketing of the Turtle Guy clearly made this the primary selling point of the film. After finally seeing him, most agreed that the gag was no funnier than anything else in the movie.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • "Turtle!"
    • "This is what you're doing. This is what I want you to do!"
  • Retroactive Recognition: Dylan and Cole Sprouse as a young Pistachio.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Not that Devlin Bowman was widely regarded as an especially memorable villain — though being played by Brent Spiner certainly didn't hurt — but he's still way funnier than Pistachio and is one of the very few people in the film to actually not be annoying.
  • Signature Scene: The Turtle Club (or at least it's what the movie wanted it to be).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Or at least the premise, the idea of a spy comedy with a disguise gimmick would've sounded great. But instead of focusing on the plot, we ended up with bad joke after bad joke.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: The Turtle Guy, who was the focus of all the marketing efforts.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Turtle Guy, though this was probably intentional.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?; Believe it or not, this was marketed as a family movie.