Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

Warner Brothers has scored another marketing coup.  The one-two
ppunch was started in the summer, with the release of BATMAN
FOREVER.  Trailers for ACE VENTURA 2 were bundled with the Bat,
ensuring that every Jim Carrey fan in the free world would know
about the impending sequel.  Carrey went on to win raves as the
Riddler and the ever-wise Warner chose Halloween as the release
date for the video ($11.99 at Wal-Mart); a mere two weeks before
Carrey's return in this marketwise, but misfired comedy.

ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS is a painful reminder of just how
grating the rubber-faced comic can be when allowed to perform
within an uncontrolled environment.  He may have been brilliant
under the direction of Joel Schumacher, in BATMAN FOREVER, but,
here, left to his own devices, Carrey quickly wears out his
welcome.  The opening sequence is by far the best-- an amusing
spoof of CLIFFHANGER, with Ace performing a mountain rescue of a
stranded raccoon.  (You can guess what happens to Mr. Paws.  Hint:
it sounds like splat.)  The plot quickly shifts to a temple in the
Himalayas, and then to not-so-darkest Africa, where Ace is on the
case of a missing white bat.

With his hair and limbs both wildly askew, Carrey flies through his
routine in about thirty minutes.  The rest of the film is just more
of the same.  Sure, the plot's linear, and the production values
solid, but where is the scripted humor to support Carrey's sloppy
slathering?  Writer and director Steve Oderkerk provides precious
few set-ups.  Instead, Carrey just mugs away, playing for the
camera even when most of it isn't funny.  The better gags have been
shown in the ads, though a bit with Ace emerging buck-naked from
the backside of a mechanical rhino is something to see.

Though an arguable improvement over the original, ACE VENTURA: WHEN
NATURE CALLS is still a snooze for anyone over the age of ten.  The
script is virtually devoid of wit.  Tribal MASK jokes?  Jerry Lewis
cameos?  Forget it.  If anything, the inexplicable presence of
Simon Callow (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) and Bob Gunton (THE
SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) suggests that working with Carrey is the
classical actor's ultimate challenge.  Just how long *can* they
keep a straight face?

Skip it.

Grade: D+

Copyright 1995 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros