Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I remember seeing this movie around the time that it first came out.  I was still in high school at the time and Jim Carrey was still known primarily for starring in In Living Color.  The movie ended up being perfect for Carrey to star in.

Ace Ventura is, as you might expect, a pet detective.  If a beloved animal companion has gone missing, Ace is the perfect person to call.  The movie opens with him kicking a package down a street accompanied by the sound of glass breaking.  He’s posing as a delivery driver to get into the apartment of a man with a small dog.  (We’re left to assume that the dog doesn’t belong with this man, but we’re not given the details.)  Ace gets the dog, but doesn’t get to his car before the man notices the switch, so Ace has to make a hasty escape.

He makes a living off of that kind of small case, but is still struggling to make ends meet.  That’s when he gets a big case.  Snowflake, a trained dolphin who happens to be the mascot of the Miami Dolphins, goes missing a few days before the Super Bowl.  Ace is called in to help find said dolphin so that there will be a halftime show.

As you might expect with a comedy, there’s one clue that the main character can work with.  In this case, a small gem is found in Snowflake’s tank.  With the help of Melissa Robison, played by Courteney Cox, he learns that it came from a specific Super Bowl ring.  After going through all of that year’s players, he learns that there is one more person:  Ray Finkel.  Ace know that this is their man, but he’s a hard man to find.  Find Ray and he finds Snowflake.

I haven’t really had much of an urge to watch this over the past few years.  If it comes on TV, I’ll watch a few minutes of it, but I haven’t even seen it on TV recently.  The reason is that most of the humor seems geared towards teenagers.  For instance, there’s a sequence where Ace is going around checking the players’ rings.  He provokes one player into flipping him the finger so that he gets a good view of the ring.  He checks out another at a urinal with unintended consequences.  He also manages to get one to punch him in the forehead so that he can look at the impression on his forehead.

I remember liking the movie when it first came out, but I don’t think I’d be able to say the same thing now.  Carrey’s acting in this movie is very similar to the way he acted in In Living Color.  It was a very high-energy performance with him often speaking at higher-than-average volumes and often taking on wacky personas to look around.  It gets old kind of quick.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it may be worth watching depending on your sense of humor, but I’d recommend renting it rather than buying it.  It’s one of those movies that I think has little replay value.  It was interesting seeing Dan Marino and Don Shula appear as themselves.  (Don Shula made a cameo, but Dan Marino had a few lines.)  It’s interesting mostly to see how far Carrey has come when you compare it to some of his current movies, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or The Number 23.

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