Jim Carey as Ace Ventura
Courteney Cox as Chief Publicist Melissa Robinson
Rone Loc as Emilio
Sean Young as Lt. Lois Einhorn
John Capodice as Sgt. Aguado
Troy Evans as Roger Podacter
Dan Marino as himself
One of the true classic comedies is Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. It’s not necessarily a crime classic, although the mystery does take some unique twists. But in terms of slapstick humor, it’s as good as they come.
Our story opens with an eccentric detective who loves animals saving a dog that had been kidnapped with the intention of ransoming him. This is what private investigator Ace Ventura does: find lost or kidnapped pets. A much bigger case comes when Miami Dolphins mascot, Snowflake, is kidnapped. Snowflake and the tricks he performs are big morale boosters for the players, so the Dolphins’ owner threatens to use his stroke to make heads roll at the police department if Snowflake isn’t found in time for the Super Bowl. Ace is hired to get the dolphin back.
Performances are strong. It’s a “weird person among the normal” kind of movie, and everyone is convincing in these roles. The same year as she became one of the stars of Friends, Courteney Cox does a great job as someone who wonders what she’s getting into in hiring Ace at first, but slowly comes to see that this super-eccentric individual is actually a great detective. Jim Carrey himself is downright hilarious as Ace, displaying the right over-the-top mannerisms. It’s why he’s possibly my favorite comedy actor.
As for the jokes? They’re really funny. Gags like Ace (disguised a delivery boy) banging up a package and assuring the person it’s for that it’s “something nice” and catching a bullet between his teeth are timelessly hilarious!
This was the launching post for Carrey’s career on the big screen. He became a big star for a decade. Though I don’t see Ace Ventura as his best (that would be either Liar, Liar or The Truman Show), it’s still outstanding.
Overall: 9 out of 10