Once again, I find myself watching a film I once enjoyed through this lens and really seeing how troubling this movie is. I’m not saying that Jim Carrey’s performance as the title character isn’t iconic. It is. However, the entire last act of the film had me making the cringiest of faces.
Just a refresher for those who have not watched this film in a while: the films third act begins with the realization that Lois Einhorn and Ray Finkle are the same person. This is then met with some very insensitive responses.
Now, the rest of the film isn’t too terrible. I mean, most comedies from the 90s and early 00s have questionable comments made, this one not being an exception. But, it’s tolerable.
I do have one major question, though. Do you think that this film would have launched Jim Carrey’s career if Dumb and Dumber and The Mask hadn’t come out that same year? If this was the only film that he had come out in 1994, would he have become the megastar he quickly became? I want to say, no, he wouldn’t have, solely because the character of Ace Ventura is just an amalgamation of comedy bits and catchphrases he had from In Living Color. There was nothing really new with the character of Ace Ventura that hadn’t yet been seen from Carrey. I mean, I’m thankful he had two other films come out that same year, because I’ve greatly enjoyed Jim Carrey both as a comedic actor and a dramatic one. I just think that, if we were in a different timeline where only Ace Ventura: Pet Detective came out in 1994, it would have been more of a one and done film for those involved. And, I definitely don’t think it would have remained in the public consciousness like it has, due to the Einhorn/Finkle plot point in the film.
Although the entirety of the third act had me cringing, I must say that Ace Ventura: Pet Detective does have a moment that will make me laugh out loud every single time I see it:
Every. Single. Time.