Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls [Retro Review]

“Die you bewinged spawn of Satan!”

The Scoop: 1995 PG-13, directed by Steve Oedekerk and starring Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice and Simon Callow

Tagline: New Animals. New Adventures. Same Hair.

Summary Capsule: Ace goes to Africa to rescue a scary animal for scary tribespeople

Justin’s Rating: Not many pugs in Africa, I noticed.

Justin’s Review: Movies like this are a good cheap personality thermometer for any friends or passer-bys in your room. Like Lissa’s slowly degenerating DNA, it’s very simple to analyze:

Type One

    Sees you watching this, exclaims, “Oh cool! I haven’t seen this in forever!”, sits down with you, and challenges you to a movie quoting duel.

Type Two

    Sees you watching this. Crumples their face up into something resembling a pug, just not as cute. Makes a slight retching noise. Then a heavier one, just to get your attention. Points to the screen and screeches, “WHAT HAST THOU BROUGHT UPON THIS LAND? A PLAGUE, I TELL YOU!” Then rolls their eyes, puts on blinders and ear plugs, and then begins to lecture you on how dumb a film this is and how they can’t believe anyone can watch this tripe.

While we don’t like every and all stupid movies that come down the Hollywood conveyer belt, chances are that many of us hold some flicks near and dear to our hearts that we’ll never be able to defend to the Type Twos without sounding enfeebled. But like them we do, scurrying to a damp and dark closet with a TV just to watch them away from the guilt-inducing eyes of others.

Sure, I can see how annoying Ace Ventura could be to others, but on the seesaw that balances “grating” and “hilarious”, the Big Funny wins for me. To me, Ace is the unleashing of a childish id that teens and adults would privately love to do. He talks like a six-year old, walks like a duck, and merrily goes through life not caring whether others like him or not. While we may not wish to be him, from time to time I think it’d be refreshing to act like him. Random screaming is a fun thing.

Jim Carrey returns to his second pet detective outing in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Like its title, this film is loaded with fatty, non-nutritional toilet humor. Called to Africa to locate a tribe’s sacred white bat, Ace goes on a safari of wacky irreverence for every person — but not every animal — around him. What did they say in The Truth About Cats And Dogs? “You can love your pets, just don’t love your pets.” Ace does both.

I recently hung out with a guy who, out of the blue, started quoting this movie nearly straight through. By the time he got to the part where he screamed while waving his hands at his thighs (you’d know if you saw this movie), a wave of sheer nostalgic lust washed over me. It had been too long since I saw it. I was a Type One in need of my stupidity fix.

Granted that you’re not too upper crust to enjoy a bit of rhino birthing and loogie-launching, Ace Ventura 2 is a kinetic comedy that refuses to let Mr. Grumpy Face stay at your place for too long. Carrey’s manic gestures, coupled with a few outrageous scenarios and eminently quotable lines, keep this far funnier than time and reputation would have you think.

I know, it’s not socially appropriate to even mention Ace Ventura, but this is why I’m never invited to the nice parties anymore. It’s worth it.

A metaphor for Jim Carrey's entire career


  • Ace Ventura fools the Chief and his son saying “Shawshank Redemption” in which Bob Gunton (“Quinn”) played the Warden.
  • Director Tom DeCerchio left after shooting began, to be replaced by writer Steve Oedekerk.
  • Ace parodies William Shatner’s The Twilight Zone episode (he parodied Captain Kirk in the first movie).

Groovy Quotes

      Ace: Gauno bowl! Collect the whole set!

Ace: Three darts is tooooo muuuch…

Ace: There’s someone on the wing! Some… THING! I’m sorry, were you saying something?

Ace: The urine stain on your pants signifies that you are a single-shake man, far too busy for the follow-up jiggle.

Ace: Friends, rodents, quadrupeds, lend me your rears!

Ace: I’ll have you know that I have the reflexes of a cat and the speed of a mongoose. Throw it. I DARE YOU!

Ace: Your request is not unlike your lower intestine: stinky and loaded with danger.

Ace: Pretty hot in these rhinos…

Ace: Die you bewinged spawn of Satan!

Ace: Spank you, Helpy Helperton…

Ace: Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. And you must be the Monopoly guy! [whispering] Thanks for the free parking!

Ace: If you were me then I’d be you and I’d use your body to get to the top. You can’t stop me no matter who you are!

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Justin does Evan Almighty « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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