Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

"You really love animals, don't you?" "Only if it gets cold enough." -
Sample wit of Ace Ventura

What are we going to do with Jim Carrey?  Viewers of TV's "In Living
Color" know this one-man cartoon from such characters as Fire Marshall
Bill. Viewers also know that "In Living Color" is a skit-show and that a
little of Jim Carrey goes a long way.  Unfortunately, this fact was
forgotten by the makers of the Carrey comedy ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE.

Three writers, including Carrey, worked on the slapstick story, which
sends a self-styled "Pet Detective" on the trail of a stolen dolphin.
The missing mammal belongs to the Miami Dolphins, who need their mascot
for the upcoming Superbowl.

For plot porpoises, this story works as well as any Three Stooges short.
Carrey gets to do his "official" schtick as he snoops around greater
Miami.  He leers and sneers, craning his neck to funny effect. He even
does his Captain Kirk impersonation. Again.

All of this is pretty harmless stuff up until the point that you realize
that the writers have absolutely no intention of focusing on anyone
other than Carrey.  Suggested alternate title-- JIM CARREY: WILL DO

Export it to France and you may have a hit. As it stands, ACE VENTURA
isn't even good kid's stuff. The profanity count, alone, is too high.
Which is ironic, since children are, probably, Carrey's best audience.

The film doesn't even have the goofball charm of Chris Elliott's recent
no-brainer CABIN BOY.  Sure, Carrey has his moments. But what can you
say about a film whose high-points include watching Carrey slink around
to the theme from "Mission Impossible?"

ACE VENTURA has one glaring incongruity. Amid the butt-jokes and
double-takes, the script takes great pains to set-up an elaborate and
rather funny CRYING GAME gag. And, for THIS intended audience, that
takes (ahem) cojones.  Tone Loc, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Dan Marino, and,
yes, Sean Young star.  Tom Shadyac directs.  ("PG-13"/~80 min.)

BOTTOM LINE:  Unfunny showcase for the remarkable talents of comedian
Jim Carrey. Don't bother.

Grade: D+

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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