Saturday, November 29, 2014

Movie Review: "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (1994)

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Movie"Ace Ventura: Pet Detective"
Director: Tom Shaydac
Year: 1994
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

After the Miami Dolphin’s mascot, a bottle-nosed dolphin named Snowflake, is stolen, the team is desperate to get him back. When the police don’t seem to be getting anywhere, the team's PR director Melissa Robinson (Courtney Cox) hires Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey), a pet detective, to find the missing mascot. This case might run deeper than previously thought when the Dolphin’s head of operations Robert Podacter (Troy Evans) ends up dead and the team's quarterback, Dan Marino, gets kidnapped. Ace must use his unconventional and zany methods to figure out this complex case and get Snowflake and Marino back in time for the Superbowl. 

This is the movie that made Jim Carrey who is today. Before this, he was just a cast member in "In Living Color" and did some smaller budget movies that really didn't go much of anywhere. His over-the-top, outrageous style of full-body comedy put him on the map and struck a chord with younger audiences who wanted to see more from him. Enter "Ace Venture: Pet Detective."

This film is full of obnoxious and silly quotable lines that are still (somewhat) referenced today. Whether he is literally talking out of his butt, impersonating celebrities, or acting like an escaped mental patient, this style of comedy at the hands of Jim Carrey was fresh and generally liked by audiences at the time. His facial expressions, voice changes and crazy hairstyles are so uniquely Carrey that without him, this movie would not have worked in any capacity. He carries the entire movie on his back, and how much a moviegoer likes this film is contingent directly upon how much they like Jim Carrey as an actor. The rest of the cast is just there to play the straight-man to Ace's buffoonery. Though an imbecile, Ace Ventura always seems to one-up the policemen who condescend him, and though his methods are unconventional and wacky, he is always one step ahead of the actual police. The plot of the movie is outrageous, but still manages to be sort of enjoyable with a relatively funny ending, though it has aged quite a bit in 20 years. It says something that Jim Carrey is still doing the same shtick two decades later and still impersonates the same people he did in this movie and expects it to be funny. What it is is tired, and going back and watching this movie again, unfortunately, shows just how tired it, and he, are now. Once-fresh humor is simply old and redundant no matter how you slice it. For those who grew up with it, though, this movie will probably hold a little nostalgia for them forever, but for people who are our niece and nephew's age, in two decades, they wonder why we laughed at this movie at all.

Jim Carrey, we know you're reading this, please stick to dramatic roles. Your days of talking to animals and wafting farts are over.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 45%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Dallas Buyer's Club"

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