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You may like if:
– You like Austin Powers
– You prefer jokes to swearing
– You like any Jim Carrey film
You won’t like if:
– You like a sophisticated comedy
Ace Ventura is essential comedy viewing, even if it turns out not to be your cup of tea. One of Jim Carrey’s three big hits during 1994, from when his films were funny! Right off the bat, the film’s funny as it introduces us to a new character – an eccentric, outrageous, and unrealistically energetic pet detective, yes, called Ace Ventura. He must solve the case of a football (American) team’s missing dolphin before Super Bowl Sunday.
The detective plot is surprisingly well-written for a comedy, and puts We’re the Millers to shame. Its dark themes may not be for everyone, but by today’s standard it is light-hearted, although it isn’t as family friendly as its sequel.
The character may start to grind on you eventually, but not before at least fifty viewings! The way he walks, talks, turns, all his little mannerisms are done perfectly by Carrey. Ventura also stars Courtney Cox (Friends), a simple supporting character and the main love interest, if there is one. Yes, the film is a bit of a one-man band, like Austin Powers, but far, far better written in my opinion, and Carrey is a much better lead actor.
You know a film’s done it right when you quote all the lines in real life. And not just lines, but entire scenes are memorable to the word! The way Ventura does random little things, like sneak around to Mission Impossible, when nobody else is there, is so quirky, like he does it just to entertain himself.
The camera work is standard for a comedy film, nothing special but unobtrusive. The music could be a little repetitive, and the same piece may be used two or three times.
Ace Ventura hasn’t dated too badly, considering it’s 20 years old. It reminds us of a time when funny films used to put jokes in the script. Well worth watching if you like a funny film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.