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  Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Like A Glove
Year: 1995
Director: Steve Oederkerk
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, Maynard Eziashi, Bob Gunton, Sophie Okonedo, Tommy Davidson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Danny D. Daniels, Sam Motoana Phillips, Damon Standifer, Andrew Steel, Bruce Spence, Tom Grunke, Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (Jim Carrey), had decided to retire from his chosen field after a tragic rescue attempt in the mountains. He had climbed to the summit of one peak to assist a raccoon which had been left stranded there due to a helicopter crash, and Ace refused to come back down until he had escorted the animal from danger. Alas, in his attempts to transport the raccoon between two cliffs, suspended in the air, the line holding it broke, and the creature fell to its death. Devastated, Ace has retreated to a Tibetan monastery...

Well, he's supposed to be devastated but he acts much as he always did, in his typically irreverent manner, a style that had seen star Carrey through great success on the silver screen since making it big on American television. The first Ace Ventura movie had been a substantial hit, although just as many audiences were won over by his over the top antics as there were those wondering what the big deal was. Often with those sceptics the name of Jerry Lewis was invoked, a similarly divisive comedy talent, although Carrey was not apt to play up the childish aspects of his characters for sympathy the way Lewis was.

Basically the reason Jerry was mentioned was to make comparisons with a performer who had gone out of fashion, as if to say, look, this Carrey guy is as bad as that other gurning comic who used to be massive, but that didn't wash for Carrey's new legion of fans: the Ace sequel broke records across the world for a comedy movie. However, now that years have passed and the star proved himself a talented dramatic actor as his actual comedies became more high concept and perhaps less amusing, it became a trend to look back on those early hits and ponder that he might not have been all he was cracked up to be.

Of course, this was wrong, as Carrey's boundless energy remained highly entertaining for those in the mood, and while Dumb and Dumber managed to sustain its reputation, this sequel fell by the wayside, considered less funny than the initial instalment. Yet the fact that this was the sole Carrey movie that was a follow-up to one of his own works should have showed that he felt there was something worth returning to in the character - either that or the paycheque the studio offered was so massive he could not turn it down. Even if he was in it for the money, the comedian certainly threw himself into the role as if it were as fresh as the first outing.

The gags were more lavish this time around, though Ace was as ridiculous as ever as he is coaxed down from his Tibetan retreat to a made-up African country where he is meant to track down a sacred white bat that has gone missing - stolen? Could be, as if it is not found a war could break out between the two local tribes, so Ace is on a deadline to solve the case before carnage occurs. Naturally, none of this was taken remotely sincerely, as often the wisp of a plot was set aside to allow Carrey to act in his absurd manner, and whatever the doubters thought When Nature Calls deserved a better standing than it had. Gags like Ace's violent approach to parking a car to his troubles with a mechanical rhino were guaranteed laughs for those willing to let down their resistance to relentless silliness, and his faith in the animal kingdom was a fun trait that he appeared to have adopted because he could wind up more humans that way. Music by Robert Folk.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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