Edge City, Present Day: Hot, smoggy and packed. Cityscape of towering skyscrapers stands in the haze just beyond the crowded beach. We see an industrial barge marked "Department of Sanitation." A crane's cable line disappears underwater. Underwater, scuba welders repair a cracked, scum spewing pipe. One diver hits something hard with his dredger. He unearths an ancient iron box.
Rust and barnacles partially obscure the engraved images of Norse gods and demons. The diver wedges his scuba knife under the corroded lock. Suddenly the pipeline breaks free, crushing the diver and cracking open the box. Something (seen only in rippling shadow) explodes out of the box on a cloud of bubbles and shoots toward the surface. The Mask surfaces as lightning explodes across the distant cityscape.
Edge City Bank: Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey), a bright-eyed amiable young account exec, shy, luckless romantic who is regularly bullied by nearly everyone around him. Maggie (Joely Fisher), a cute young redhead now strolls by. Stanley perks up at the sight of her.
He pulls out a pair of concert tickets, announcing to her with a smile he got the tickets she wanted. She is elated. When he asks what time he should pick her up, she goes into a long story about her out of town girlfriend who is visiting and wants Stanley to get an extra ticket, but the concert is sold out.
Stanley considers the situation for a moment, then offers to give up his ticket so Maggie and her girlfriend can go. After some token hesitation, she quickly accepts his offer and compliments how nice a guy he is. Maggie hurries off to her teller's window. Charlie Schumaker (Richard Jeni), thirties, approaches Stanley, razzing him about how his gesture was pathetic.
Charlie offers to take Stanley on the perfect night on the town, a love safari, deep into the darkest heart of the urban jungle, the Coco Bongo nightclub. The hottest new club in town that allows entrance only to the creme de la creme. Stanley wonders then how are they going to get in, but Charlie says just leave everything to him. Suddenly a resounding peal of thunder rings out like the crack of doom. Sheets of rain pour down on the bank's windows. Outside, pedestrians scramble for cover in the sudden downpour.
Bank Foyer: A young woman scurries into the bank holding a newspaper over her head. She's soaking wet and pauses in the foyer to straighten herself out.
Charlie immediately notices her. Stanley follows his gaze. We see a classic cheesecake tilt-up starting with the woman's million dollar legs as she squeezes some of the water out of her skirt... up past her body, which through her damp summer clothes is undeniable proof that there is a God... up... up... to her face as that newspaper is tossed aside.
She's a heart-stopping woman/child with a Cupid's bow mouth and ice blue eyes. In other words she's trouble. Big trouble, also known as Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz). Charlie may as well have just seen the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Tina now enters and walks towards Stanley and Charlie, announcing she's there to open a new account. Charlie flashes his best 100 watt smile. Charlie tries to steer Tina to his desk, but she's still preoccupied with her damp clothing.
She peels off her wet blazer, creating another awe-inspiring visual moment. Charlie clutches her jacket with white knuckles. But Tina turns and sits at Stanley's desk; Charlie is stunned at his near miss, but there's not a thing he can do about it. Stanley is smitten with Tina, and she seems to reciprocate.
After introductions, Tina notices a box of Kleenex on Stanley's desk. Tina takes a tissue and daintily blots the moisture from her skin. Tina comments how his tie is like one those ink blot tests, a Rorschach test. To her, it looks like a young woman riding bareback, like a Lady Godiva. She slowly runs a finger along Stanley's tie and asks what he sees.