Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review: "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" Eternally Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 116 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Running time: 87 minutes
MPAA – PG-13 for off-color humor and some nudity
DIRECTOR: Tom Shadyac
WRITERS: Jack Bernstein and Tom Shadyac & Jim Carrey, from a story by Jack Bernstein
PRODUCER: James G. Robinson
EDITOR: Don Zimmerman, A.C.E.


Starring: Jim Carrey, Sean Young, Courteney Cox, Tone Lōc, Dan Marino, Noble Willingham, Troy Evans, and Udo Kier

Jim Carrey had appeared in a few minor movies in the 1980’s; then, a national TV audience discovered his talents for monkeyshines, physical comedy, and impersonations in the hit television sketch comedy series, “In Living Color.” Carrey, however, blew up as a movie star with the 1994 debut of his first film as the lead actor, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and in the eleven and a half years since that movie first opened at the box office, Carrey’s film career has hit few potholes on the road to continued success.

Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is a Miami-based pet detective, a private dick who finds lost and stolen pets. He’s also a serious animal lover, and his apartment is filled with dogs, penguins, raccoons, etc. Ace, however, isn’t making much of a living as a pet detective, but he gets his big break when Snowflake, the dolphin mascot of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, is kidnapped. The Dolphins top management is furious because Snowflake is popular with both the fans and the superstitious Dolphin players who consider Snowflake a good luck charm – one without which they’d really rather not play the upcoming Super Bowl. No one else can find Snowflake, so a Dolphins front office employee, Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox), hires Ace, but the case grows complex when another Dolphin official is found murdered. Can Ace solve the mystery before something else goes wrong, or will his unorthodox methods lead to disaster?

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which certainly would never win an “Edgar Allan Poe” award as an example of exceptional detective or mystery film, is strictly a vehicle for Jim Carrey’s talents, and it certainly features Carrey’s raw, juvenile, and sometimes infantile act – the talking butt hole, the twisted facial expressions, hamming for the camera, the ADD, the ADHD-inspired antics, etc. Of course, much of the act is uproarious; since those early years, however, Carrey’s refined his act, and we can look upon Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as the beginning of a short, golden age when Carrey reintroduced audiences to gross out comedy and then, took it to the next level.

6 of 10

July 18, 2005

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