Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a clerk at an Edge City bank, is a shy, luckless romantic who is regularly bullied by nearly everyone around him, including his boss, his landlady, and car mechanics. His only friends are his dog Milo and his co-worker Charlie Schumacher (Richard Jeni). Gangster Dorian Tyrell (Peter Greene) runs the exclusive Coco Bongo nightclub while plotting to overthrow his boss Niko; therefore Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) into Stanley’s bank with a hidden camera, in preparation to rob the establishment.

Stanley is smitten with Tina, and she seems to reciprocate; but after being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, Stanley is stranded with a broken-down rental car at the city’s filthy harbor, where he finds a mysterious wooden mask. When he takes the object home and puts it on, it comes alive, wraps around his head, and transforms him into a wackily-suited, green-headed, cartoonish figure called “The Mask”, a trickster unbound by any limitations whether be personal inhibitions or physical laws, who cheerfully exacts revenge on some of Stanley’s tormentors (in comical goofy fashion) and terrifies a street gang that attempts to terrorize him.

The next morning, Stanley encounters world-weary Edge City detective Lieutenant Kellaway (Peter Riegert) and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt (Amy Yasbeck), both of whom are investigating the Mask’s activities of the previous night. Despite these threats, the temptation to again use the mask is overwhelming and he puts it back on that evening. Needing money to attend Tina’s performance at the Coco Bongo, the Mask noisily interrupts Tyrell’s bank robbery and steals their target money while one of Tyrell’s henchmen is shot by police responding to the disturbance.

The Mask buys entry into the Coco Bongo, where he “rocks the joint” by dancing exuberantly with Tina in front of the cheering client√®le, at the end of the dance he gives Tina a kiss that literally blows her shoes off, before being confronted by Tyrell, who shoots off a part of the Mask’s tie. The Mask escapes, while Tyrell is temporarily arrested for the bank robbery by Kellaway, who finds a piece of Stanley’s distinctive pajamas at the club.

Stanley consults an expert on masks, who tells him that the object is a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Despite this, and with both Tyrell and Kellaway hunting for him, a more confident Stanley stands up to his boss and arranges for Tina to meet the Mask at the local Landfill Park. The meeting goes badly when the Mask’s advances scare Tina away and Kellway discovers him. The Mask toys with the enraged officer before zooming out of the park and tricking a large group of Edge City police officers into joining him in a mass-performance production of the song Cuban Pete. Stanley manages to get the mask off and Peggy helps him escape, but then betrays him to Tyrell for a mob bounty. Tyrell tries on the mask and becomes a demonic, troll-like figure, whereupon Stanley is literally dumped in Kellaway’s lap with a green rubber mask, which is taken as evidence against him, and is thrown into jail.

Tina sympathetically visits Stanley in his cell, where he urges her to flee the city. She attempts to do so, but is captured by Tyrell and taken to his raid of a charity ball at the Coco Bongo, hosted by Niko and attended by the city’s elite. The Masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina. Meanwhile, Milo helps Stanley break out of his cell and they go to the club to stop Tyrell.

After brief initial success with the assistance of Charlie, Stanley is captured. Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which is recovered by Milo, allowing the dog to assume anthropomorphism and defeat Tyrell’s men, while Stanley fights Dorian himself. Stanley then recovers the mask and wears it one last time, using its abilities to save Tina by swallowing Tyrell’s bomb, and flush Tyrell down the drain of the club’s ornamental fountain. The city’s mayor, witnessing most of this, mistakenly deduces that Tyrell was the Mask from the start and orders Kellaway to release Stanley.

As the sun rises, Stanley, Tina, Milo and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor, where Tina and Stanley discard it into the water and share a kiss. Charlie attempts to recover the mask for himself, but is prevented by Milo, who swims away with it before he can get to it. Meanwhile, Stanley and Tina share their first kiss.

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