Starring: Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, Simon Callow
Director: Steve Oedekerk
Running Time: 90 mins
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is an American film and the sequel to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. After a sacred white bat is stolen from a tribe in Africa, Ace returns on the scene to investigate the crime, and find out where the bat has gone before conflict arises.
Much like the last film, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is absolutely insane. With yet another manic lead performance from Jim Carrey, the film screeches and crashes its way about for an hour and a half, and although there are undoubtedly some light laughs to be enjoyed from that mania, it all feels like a little too much, and as if there isn’t really the same level of comedic ingenuity as the original.
In all truth, I’m not an extreme lover of the original Ace Ventura, but I still had fun with how ridiculous it was. However, the main difference between that film and this sequel is the fact that this doesn’t manage to balance the sheer insanity of Jim Carrey’s character and slapstick with an equally silly story.
While the original was just as annoying and screechy as this movie, it all felt a lot more appropriate given the fact that it was a crazy character playing about in the middle of a crazy story that made next to no sense. This time round, however, Ventura is even crazier, but the story at hand isn’t quite so insane, and that makes Jim Carrey’s ridiculous performance stick out a lot more, rather than meshing well with an overall silly and fun-loving atmosphere.
Of course, Carrey fills his brief with the performance here. Ace Ventura is meant to be a ludicrously hyperactive and bizarre personality above all else, and Carrey does exactly that from start to finish. With that said, there are elements of the performance that feel a little tired, particularly carrying over so many slapstick similarities from the first film, meaning that the sheer strangeness of watching Carrey’s extreme exploits isn’t quite as hilarious second time round.
What’s more is that, coupled with a slightly less ridiculous and somewhat duller story, the whole film feels like it’s lacking in comic ingenuity and imagination. Yes, there are laughs throughout, but this really isn’t a film that I felt consistently entertained by, simply because its story didn’t have enough silliness to be enjoyable on its own, and left Jim Carrey rather alone as the only hyperactive element of the movie, which is rather frustrating to see.
Overall, I was disappointed by Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. It’s not the worst comedy sequel you’ll ever see, but that doesn’t escape the fact that it lacks the same humour and comic genius as the original, while Jim Carrey’s originally iconic performance feels a little tired second time round, which is why I’m giving this a 6.5.