In terms of an actor rocketing from relative obscurity to become one of the biggest movie stars in the business in a short space of time, few talents have ever experienced a rise as meteoric as the one Jim Carrey enjoyed in 1994. Up until that point, the comedian was best known as part of sketch show In Living Color‘s ensemble cast, with a few big-screen appearances peppered throughout.
Within the space of ten months, though, the rubber-faced funnyman headlined Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, all of which scored major success at the box office. In fact, by the time the year had drawn to a close, you could barely go anywhere without hearing at least one of Carrey’s lines being quoted in your vicinity from at least one of the smash hit trio.
In terms of critical and commercial performance, The Mask comfortably came out on top after being equally well-received by fans and critics alike, pocketing over $351 million from theaters in the process. The whirlwind slapstick still holds up when viewed today, and even watching Carrey’s performance is enough to leave you wondering how the hell he managed to keep up those energy levels throughout the shoot.
It may have spawned one of the worst movies ever made when Carrey-less sequel Son of the Mask arrived a decade later, but let’s just pretend that it never even existed. As for the original, it’s currently experiencing a resurgence on Netflix, with The Mask shooting up 30 places on FlixPatrol‘s rankings to comfortably crack the Top 20 most-watched list.