ACE VENTURA JR.: PET DETECTIVE
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Josh Flitter as ACE VENTURA JR.
Emma Lockhart as LAURA
Ann Cusack as MELISSA VENTURA
Cullen Douglas as DR. SICKINGER
Art LaFleur as RUSSELL HOLLANDER
Austin Rogers as A-PLUS
Reed Alexander as QUENTON PENNINGTON JR.
Ralph Waite as GRANDPA VENTURA
Available on DVD and BluRay March 3
Studio: Morgan Creek
Directed by: David Mickey Evans
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The son of Ace Ventura, the legendary pet detective, is now living with his mother, who is trying to raise him like a normal boy. However, “normal” is not part of Ace’s vocabulary. He can’t help but track down the missing animals for the kids in the school. However, when a rare panda is kidnapped and Ace’s mother is fingered by the police, he must use his pet detective skills to find the endangered species… with a little help from his friends, both two-legged and four-legged.
WHAT I LIKED
I was a huge fan of the original “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” which is the movie that put Jim Carrey on the A-list map. And while I found the sequel somewhat funny when I was in college, having seen bits and pieces of it recently, I realized it was a huge let-down. Many people might think that releasing a direct-to-DVD sequel of the film without Jim Carrey was a mistake, but I rather like not having his uncontrolled, over-the-top antics in my face the whole time.
Josh Flitter was a perfect choice for a movie like this. While he’s not exactly the body shape you might picture for a young Jim Carrey, he definitely has the comedy acting chops to make the part his own. After several supporting roles in films like “For the Love of the Game” and “Nancy Drew,” it’s great to see Flitter get a project in which he can shine.
You can’t approach this movie as a direct sequel to the other two films. It’s not a grown up movie loaded with poop and sex humor. There may be a few poop jokes scattered in this movie, but it’s really a kids’ movie at its heart. And if you watch it with that in mind – as a film made for the Nickelodeon crowd – you’ll see that it fills out rather nicely.
My kids enjoyed it a lot, and I had fun watching with them. It’s not brilliant filmmaking, but then again, can that really be said about the other two “Ace Ventura” films?
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
To a certain degree, I would have preferred this film just leave the old Ace Ventura alone. Too often, they refer to the character, and they even have photographs of an Ace Ventura look-alike with his face obscured. It’s a little too obvious they’re trying to avoid showing Jim Carrey… even to the younger crowd.
Also, as a parent, you might want to watch the other “Ace Ventura” films before you barrel ahead and show them to the kids after seeing this one. Remember those films were both PG-13 and contained questionable humor for younger kids.
The DVD comes with a gag reel, extended scenes and a menagerie of featurettes: “Ace and his Animals,” “Ace Ventura Jr.: The Inside Story,” “Austin and Emma,” “All Play and No Work,” “Now Introducing… the Animals” and “Ox the Dog.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
The Nickelodeon movie crowd and most kids who like movies with animals in them.