Friday, 13 January 2017

Ace Ventura - Pet Detective | Comedy Film Review

The 1994 film Ace Ventura - Pet detective is widely renowned as being a got to comedy when an audience is in need of guaranteed laughter, Jim Carrey gives one of his most memorable performances as the lead character Ace and the film delivers a laugh a minute whilst being well thought out and interesting. Pet Detective is directed as Tom Shadyac and stars Jim Carrey and Courteney Cox, two actors who were well in their comedic prime during the 90's due to the likes of Dumb and Dumber and Friends being on their respective resumes.

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Ace Ventura

The film follows the story of Ace, a detective who focusses on animal related crimes, meaning that his apartment is littered with exotic animals and caters for their every need. Cox plays the character of Melissa Robinson, a publicist for the American football team the Miami Dolphins, Robinson enlists the help of the trusty nature detective when the teams dolphin mascot snowflake is kidnapped, obviously leading to hilarious consequences as Ace now has to track down the missing bottle nose.

Pet Detective is widely focused on slapstick humor, it relies on numerous occasions on Carrey's sheer physicality to further the plot of the film and deliver some of the biggest laughs the film receives throughout. There a countless times when  the film potentially begins to drag or the pace is slowed a little to much, only to be storming back to life by the physical comedy that audiences have no doubt grown to adore Carrey for, the same physicality that saw viewers fall in love with films such as Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty.

Fig 2: Screenshot, Ace Ventura

One of the strongest and potentially most memorable scenes of Pet Detective is in fact the opening scene, which sees Carrey in disguise delivering a parcel to an apartment. At this point the audience has little to no information regarding character set up, plot or backstory, and so relies completely on Carrey's ability to make any scene interesting, which he obviously achieves. The scene sees Ace walking down the road with a parcel in hand, a parcel which he then begins to throw across the street, jump on and generally destroy, leading to Carrey giving one of the most underrated scenes of his career, as not many actors could make an entire audience laugh uncontrollably with no set up or character development.

Another incredible scene that has gone on to be a staple of Carrey's career would definitely be the scene which takes place in the residential care home as the audience see's Ace impersonating a potential resident, acting out as someone who could live at the home. Again, Carrey delivers an amazingly physical performance that sticks with audiences for years to come. The scene itself bares witness to a now famous Carrey trait, the rewind, a scene that sees Ace perform an act and then reverse the steps he has just taken to replay the event that just happened in slow motion, something that has cropped up in other Carrey film since. This display of physical comedy is what fans have loved about the Ace Ventura films for years since, as Carrey delivers an incredibly memorable performance that transcends the likes of slapstick humor.

Fig 3: Screenshot, Ace Ventura

Not only is Ace Ventura - Pet Detective an incredibly funny film by its own rights, it can also boast the achievement of having one of the funniest leading men in film at its helm also, something that adds an entirely new aspect to the film as audiences can support a character played by an actor that has already won their hearts. In Pet Detective, Carrey gives one of his most iconic performances to date, delivering a blend of humor that exceeds the limits of slapstick and situational comedy. 

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, Ace Ventura,, Accessed on: 13.01.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, Ace Ventura,, Accessed on: 13.01.17

Fig 3: Screenshot, Ace Ventura,, Accessed on: 13.01.17   

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