Ace Ventura – Pet Detective
In some ways Jim Carrey is like Will Ferrell, both came from skit based comedy shows where they played reasonably bit roles and were generally found to be quite funny in moderation.
Both somehow managed to wangle that into starring roles and survived and thrived largely on their wacky antics to short term stardom. This is where their career paths diverged…
Ferrell still makes the same stupid film over, and over, and over again. “Look! I’m Will Ferrell making fun of an occupation by playing it dead seriously and yelling a lot when the situation probably doesn’t require it! Look! I make increasingly unfunny comments and get nearly nude a lot.”
- Now I’m a yelling race car driver who is deadly serious and doesn’t realise I’m actually a cock.
- Now I’m a yelling ice skater who is deadly serious and doesn’t realise I’m actually a cock.
- Now I’m a yelling basketball player who is deadly serious and doesn’t realise I’m actually a cock.
- Now I’m a yelling newscaster who is deadly serious and doesn’t realise I’m actually a cock.
That’s showing your range Will. Now go and invent some new “ad-libs” to crack the low IQs up when you spout them as you “improvise” on your next shitfest.
Carrey branched out and did different things. (OK I admit that was just to allow me another cheap shot at Will Ferrell the most overrated “Star” in cinema today.)
But for a while even while he was totally one-note and relying on his shtick to get laughs there was no denying it… Carrey’s shtick was good.
Carrey has a pretty unique, look and is willing to make himself look stupid at the drop of a hat, a key advantage in comedy. He has exaggerated features, elastic limbs and an incredibly flexible face capable of seemingly everything short of turning itself inside out – and don’t think he wouldn’t have tried it for a laugh.
Carrey has some great impressions in his arsenal too, something Ferrell has never shown, and can come up with quotable one-liners and put downs with seemingly effortless ease.
In Ace Ventura someone pointed the camera at him and said go nuts and he did just that. Without Carrey Ace Ventura 1 & 2 would’ve been lousy, he is an explosion of comedic elements, trying literally everything including talking out of his arse for a laugh, and as this was so new and different at the time most of it worked.
Ace Ventura is a pet detective given the case of finding the mascot of the Miami Dolphins NFL team just days before they appear in the Superbowl. His search is aided by Dolphins staff member Courteney Cox and slowed down by Police Chief Sean Young, who it must be said looks very ordinary in this role (if this was deliberate it was genius).
When the clues lead all the way towards NFL greats the situation becomes admittedly ludicrous, but in a pretty inspired and creatively daring way, much better than a “silly” comedy might ordinarily deserve.
But the plot is merely a coathanger for Carrey to drape his improvisational genius on; a shoe to jam his awkward mannerisms and throwaway jokes into; a garage for him to drive his bit characters and random shrieks into… I don’t know where I’m going with this.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. A funny film that lives and dies with your response to Carrey’s antics. I like him in small doses.
Ace Ventura – When Nature Calls
You read the above bit about the antics, impressions and mugging right?
- This time Carrey does it again.
- This time after a tragedy he is out of the pet-detective game and must be coaxed into action.
- This time in Africa.
- This time he needs to find a white bat to bring peace between two warring tribes.
- This time he is born from a giant fake mechanical rhino.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Still the same gross outs and stupid jokes, but with a few better set pieces once they knew what Carrey’s character could get away with.