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Sunday, 8 May 2016

Weekend TV Movie Review: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Five (1994)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 
Cast: Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox, Sean Young, Tone Loc, Tony Marino
Genre: Comedy
Worldwide Box Gross: over $107 million 

Plot: When the dolphin mascot of Miami's NFL team is abducted, Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey), a zany private investigator who specializes in finding missing animals, looks into the case. Soon Miami Dolphins players are kidnapped too, including star player Dan Marino (playing as himself), making Ace's sleuth work even more pressing. Working with Dolphins representative Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox), Ace closes in on the culprits, but not before many ridiculous misadventures 

'Allrighty Then! Ace Ventura Is A Thoroughly Entertaining & Enjoyable Slice of 90s' Comedy Silliness'

Funnyman Jim Carrey's first major movie outing, though despite his humorous antics, he is not the bumbling, goofy cop as he is. Even though in watching this movie, it appears to be the case. 

With his fancy quiff, Hawaiian t-shirt & goofy facial expressions, the film's plot centres around a detective who specialises in cases involving missing or lost pets.  

People will be equally divided on this topic, but I felt that Courteney Cox is completely miscast as Ace's love interest - I didn't sense any onscreen sexual chemistry between the pairing. When Melissa and Ace finally got together and fell for one another, I thought to myself 'no, no, this can't be happening'. I thought it wasn't a good idea to hook them up together. Funnily enough, Courtney Cox was one of two Friends actresses who starred alongside Jim Carrey - the other being Jennifer Aniston, although, with Aniston, she fared slightly better in her role in Bruce Almighty & played off Carrey much more effectively than Cox in this film. I might have not been so keen on the subject matter (i.e religion) per se, but as a standalone comedy, Bruce Almighty wasn't too bad. Courteney Cox was great in Friends as Monica Geller, but here she merely exists as eye candy for Jim Carrey's Ace & lacking in substance.  

Sean Young was actually good as she was hamming it up for the cameras as the not-so-easily-impressed police chief, who becomes increasingly irritated by Ace's antics. She's not usually associated with comedy films, but here, she plays that role effectively. Out of her and Courteney Cox as the two female supportive leads, Sean was better in my opinion in Ace VenturaThe twist towards the end of the movie was unexpected, as the trans-phobic sub-plot was a little tacky and below the belt, but I also saw the funny side to it and it wasn't all that malicious. And (American) football player Dan Marino played himself. 

The humour is much more on the same mainstream wavelength as that of The Mask, more so than Dumb & Dumber and Bruce Almighty, yet it is much sillier, crude, goofy and dumb and is easily accessible for general audiences. Though, it may not be to everyone's tastes, if you are into this type of broad humour, like me, you'll definitely get and laugh along with the jokes, slapstick and funny lines.  This was '90s comedy back then and with most 1990s comedy movies, they still haven't lost their touch in ways that they make me laugh. Thus, their humour still holds up, for me anyway. 

The massive success of Ace Ventura skyrocketed Jim Carrey in the Hollywood rankings and later he followed this up with The Mask, Dumb & Dumber, Liar Liar, and a not-so-successful sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature CallsCarrey's range and comedic talent is explored further on and developed throughout his filmography. Not to mention it resulted in animated series versions of The Mask, Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber. Ace Ventura and his earlier stint on In Living Color did wonders and that was just the beginning of his journey. I so love Jim Carrey's sense of humour, yet it's a pity his film career never sustained longevity, like with Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy, who were previously comedians but who successfully transitioned into film acting. 

Apparently, it is said that Rick Moranis was originally intended to play the role of Ace Ventura - of which sounds strange because I just couldn't see it working during the 1990s and today. As a character, Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura is hilarious; by comparing Ace Ventura to Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, Liar Liar as a film, character development and narrative-wise it sort of lacks the strength and depth of those movies. 

But Jim Carrey does what he does best as Ace. Ace Ventura is the typical Jim Carrey movie and for that, it is understandable that it will be known as (one of) the most recognizable roles of his career.

Final Verdict:

Back in 1994 after the success of Ace Ventura, we often asked ourselves whether Jim Carrey will be as well known 10, 20, 30 years down the line - over 20 years have since passed and today, people and his fans are still clamouring for his movies, buying his DVDs and re-watching clips of In Living Color on Youtube. Even though his movie career hasn't really become bigger as I'd hoped. 

But for Courteney Cox's ineffective turn, Ace Ventura is still miles better than the sequel, When Nature Calls; the movie has many memorable lines, funny scenes that still hold up today. 

Yes, it is a silly, farcical movie, but that's what Ace Ventura is set out to do, and not trying to be something that it's not. It's entertaining and enjoyable, particularly if you are into that type of comedy film. And Jim Carrey is stark raving bonkers - and in a good and pee-in-your-pants funny kind of way. 

Recommended if you enjoy Jim's brand of farcical humour.


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