tek's rating:

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (PG-13)
Gold Label; IMDb; Morgan Creek; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; FandangoNOW; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu

This came out in 1994. I think I must have seen it on TV sometime in the 90s (and it must have been heavily edited in some parts). But by the time I watched it on DVD in 2019, none of the actual plot was familiar to me, nor were any of the characters besides Ace Ventura himself. The movie is best remembered as the one that made Jim Carrey famous (though he'd already done a number of movies and TV shows). I have to say, I never particularly liked the movie or the character, though if its success meant Carrey would go on to have the career he did, I appreciate the movie's existence, just for that. It's just really hard for me to get a good bead on how I actually feel about the character. A lot of his catch phrases from this movie (and its sequel) are quite memorable, and some I might even find mildly amusing. But most of the Ace Ventura persona I just found annoying, and still do. (In particular, I can say with confidence that talking out of one's butt is objectively unfunny, and anyone who does find it funny is wrong. In fact, the one time Aang talked out of his butt on Avatar: The Last Airbender was probably the single worst moment of that series. And I can't help but wonder if the writers were inspired to have him do it because of this movie.) Aside from all the annoying things Ace says and does, though, it can't be denied that he's actually pretty good at being a pet detective. And some of the things he does in an over the top effort to seem cool actually are kind of cool. I mean, damn, no one parks a car as well as Ace.

Anyway... Ace lives in Miami, and... you know, he's a pet detective. Which is the kind of thing you wouldn't expect anyone to be, at least not anyone much over the age of ten (if that). But somehow he's made a career of it, even if not a very lucrative one. Also, pretty much all the actual police consider him a joke, especially Lt. Lois Einhorn (Sean Young). Well, he does have one cop friend, Emilio (Tone Loc), though even he seems annoyed by Ace, because his career could suffer by association. However, Ace gets involved in a major case when the Miami Dolphins' mascot, a dolphin named Snowflake, is kidnapped two weeks before the Dolphins are supposed to play in the Super Bowl. Ace is hired by the team's publicist, Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox), to find Snowflake, and of course she ends up spending a lot of time with him throughout his investigation, and ultimately becoming romantically (or at least sexually) involved with him. Meanwhile, Einhorn and the police don't like him getting in the way of their own investigation... which they don't really start taking seriously until Dan Marino (appearing as himself) also gets kidnapped.

Of course, Ace solves the case in the end, rescuing both Snowflake and Marino. But aside from the general annoyingness of the character, there's also some deeply offensive transphobia that's meant to be funny because (as with everything else in the movie) it's so over the top that it "can't be taken seriously." Except that it totally can and should. That, more than anything else, made it hard for me to enjoy the movie as a whole. (And there were other things that, to a lesser extent, made it hard for me to enjoy the movie.) But... parts of the movie were kind of funny, and while it bothers me that so many people actually liked the movie a lot more than I did, at least I can't say I found it unwatchable.


comedy index
mysteries index

Ace Ventura franchise
Pet Detective * When Nature Calls * animated series * Ace Ventura Jr.