Guilty Pleasures – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

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It’s 1994. Comedy is still king at the box office and movies with massive visual effects that cost millions of dollars are a rare sight. Back then, Hollywood was a wonderland for funnymen. Everyone got their 15 minutes of fame, provided that they had a schtick which would work on the big screen.

And in that year, Jim Carrey finally got a chance to really make an impact, as he portrayed the worlds first, and only, pet detective.

When your dog, bird, or water-dwelling mammal disappears, who do you call? Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is a low-rent private eye who specializes in recovering lost animals, so when Snowflake, the Miami Dolphins’ aquatic mascot, is kidnapped, team representative Melissa Robinson (Courtney Cox) puts Ace on the case. However, Snowflake isn’t the only Miami Dolphin who has gone missing; several key members of the team also disappear, including quarterback Dan Marino (who plays himself), who is spirited away while filming a TV commercial. With the Super Bowl only two weeks away, will Ace be able to find Snowflake and the missing athletes in time to salvage the big game?

Where do we even begin with this film? Before he hit the box office with Ace Venture, the Mask and Dumb and Dumber, Carrey had been restricted to television and only bit roles in movies. But Ace Ventura saw him let loose and allowed to run wild, going from rubber-faced comedy to full on annoying catch-phrase machine. But it worked. Hell, it worked beautifully.

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And the fact that is a film with jokes that I was actually allowed to sit through as a kid, is freakin’ amazing. I honestly had no idea what Ventura was going on about when he discovered the truth behind a certain police lieutenant, or why his payment for finding a missing dog involved a lady disappearing below the screen while he Carrey threw his hands in the air. But thanks to his versatile performance in that film, I was too busy laughing my young ass off.

And for a straight forward premise of a movie revolving around a missing dolphin, it’s actually a pretty damn layered story. From Einhorn’s secret through to Ventura trying to make his rent on time, there were plenty of threads woven, and all nicely wrapped up by the time the end credits rolled.

Sure, it’s a juvenile film that is typical of the 1990s film industry, but it’s also the kind of film that would never get made today. Hell, until this morning, I had no idea that Ace Ventura Junior was a real movie. I always thought that it was a veiled threat.

Ace Ventura may not be a mentally challenging flick, but on a physical performance level, it was pure win all the way. Alriiiiiiiiiiiiiighty then!

Last Updated: August 7, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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