Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
|Ace Ventura: Pet Detective|
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective poster
|Directed by||Tom Shadyac|
|Produced by||James G. Robinson|
|Screenplay by||Jack Bernstein
|Story by||Jack Bernstein|
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Editing by||Don Zimmerman|
|Studio||Morgan Creek Productions|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a 1994 American comedy detective film directed by Tom Shadyac, and written by Jim Carrey, who also starred in the film. It was developed by the film's original writer, Jack Bernstein, and co-producer, Bob Israel, for almost six years. The film co-stars Courteney Cox, Tone Lōc, Sean Young and former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. The film was a box office success, grossing $107 million worldwide from a $15 million budget. It spawned a sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, a direct to video spin-off Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective, and an animated series which lasted three seasons. The film has a large cult following.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2014)|
Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is a private investigator living in Miami, Florida, who specializes in retrieval of tame or captive animals. Despite the success of his methods, he does not receive many assignments and therefore cannot pay rent or repair his battered 1970s Chevrolet Monte Carlo. His eccentricities make him the laughingstock of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
At Joe Robbie Stadium, Snowflake (the bottlenose dolphin mascot of the Miami Dolphins) is kidnapped two weeks before the team is due to play in the Super Bowl. The Dolphins' owner Mr. Riddle (Noble Willingham) believes the team will lose the Super Bowl unless Snowflake is returned. He orders his head of operations Roger Podacter (Troy Evans) and chief publicist Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox) to find Snowflake. Ventura is hired to solve the case and discovers his first clue in the form of a rare triangular-cut orange amber stone, which he speculates to have fallen from a 1984 AFC Championship ring. Ventura then tries to find his culprit by tricking each member of the championship squad into showing their rings. Despite locating every player on his list, he is unable to locate the ring missing a stone. Melissa begins to doubt Ace until she gets a call that Podacter is dead.
Robinson and Ventura go to Podacter's apartment to investigate. He has mysteriously fallen to his death from his private balcony. Although Lt. Lois Einhorn (Sean Young) insists it was suicide, Ventura proves it was murder by showing that the scream which was heard by a neighbor could not have been heard if the double-paned, soundproofed glass door had been closed, which it was. Ace posits that the neighbor heard the scream from inside the apartment and the murderer threw Podacter out the window and then closed the glass door before leaving. This leave Einhorn and the police force embarrassed. While trying to find how Podacter's death is connected to Snowflake's disappearance, Melissa is impressed with Ace's detective skills and she realizes that she underestimated him. Ace becomes romantically involved with Melissa. Ace tells Melissa that she's not safe at home and she must stay with him for awhile. He learns of a former Dolphins kicker named Ray Finkle, whom he missed during his earlier investigation because Finkle was a mid-season replacement. Finkle had missed the potentially game-winning field goal kick at the end of Super Bowl XVII, causing the Dolphins to lose the game and his own career to fail. Finkle's entire home town turned against him and his family, and the demoralized Finkle became obsessed with Dan Marino, whom he blamed for the missed kick. Ace visits Finkle's home town and he meets Finkle's parents. Mr. Finkle tells Ace that their son, Ray, was committed to a mental hospital in Tampa, which they're still bothering to come get his stuff. Mrs. Finkle reveals she shares his blame towards Marino and showed Ace her son's room. It is filled with Finkle's obsession with Marino and a home movie of Finkle missing the big kick. Ace realizes that Marino is in danger but is too late to prevent his abduction.
Having discovered Finkle's obsession with Marino, Ventura is sure Finkle is the culprit but cannot find him. Ace also believes that Finkle was the one that murdered Podacter when Podacter found out who he was. Ace figures out that Finkle wanted to get revenge on Marino, whom he believed ruined his career by holding the football "laces in" instead of "laces out" during the missed kick. He also kidnapped Snowflake because he was insulted that the Dolphins were going to have the mascot kick a halftime field goal while wearing his old #5 jersey. Upon telling Lt. Einhorn of his theories, Einhorn tells him that she'll be handling the investigation, then unexpectedly kisses Ace and attempts to seduce him; Ace turns her down after feeling what he believes is Einhorn's firearm digging into his hip.
Later Ace and Melissa go to the mental hospital in Tampa where Finkle was last seen eight years ago. Ace poses as a mental patient and searches Finkle's belongings, discovering a newspaper article about a missing woman coincidentally named Lois Einhorn. Ace calls Emilio (Tone Lōc), a detective friend of his, and tells him to look for clues to a relationship between Einhorn and Finkle. Emilio tells Ace that he found a love letter from the deceased Podacter in Einhorn's desk. Unable to establish any plausible connection between Finkle and Einhorn, Ventura becomes frustrated and on the verge of giving up. However when his pet yorkie lays on top of a picture of Finkle with a newspaper of Dan Marino's kidnapping, Ace sees that he has medically transitioned to live life as Einhorn. Thinking that this means he has kissed a man and that the "gun" he felt during Einhorn's seduction of him was really a penile erection, Ace spends all night cleaning his mouth and washing himself.
Super Bowl Sunday arrives, Ace follows Lt. Einhorn to a remote warehouse by the docks, and the two engage in a short struggle before all of the Miami Police force arrives to arrest Ace on Lt. Einhorn's orders. They are stopped by Melissa, who has Emilio held hostage at gunpoint and she demands that they hear Ace out. Lt. Einhorn screams at the police officers to ignore Melissa and kept claiming that Ace is behind it all and that he kidnapped Snowflake and was trying to kill Marino and her. Ace explains her motives and claims that Lt. Einhorn is actually Ray Finkle. Lt. Einhorn denies all of Ace's accusation, which leads to Ace trying to find proof of his accusations by first trying to remove the lieutenant's hair, thinking it to be a wig—it turns out to be her real hair. Next, he rips open Einhorn's blouse to find two perfect feminine breasts. In a last-ditch effort, Ace rips off her skirt, assuming there to find her penis, but instead appears the normal figure of a woman. Just as Ace is about to give up on his theory, Marino alerts Ace to a bulge he can see in Lt. Einhorn's silk panties. Ace, now with concrete proof against Einhorn, makes a short humiliating speech (directed at Einhorn) and spins her violently around to reveal Einhorn's/Finkle's huge penis and testicles tucked between her legs in her panties to the whole Miami police force. Ace reveals that Einhorn actually killed Podacter because he discovered her birth gender. The whole Miami police force, Marino, and even Snowflake react in total disgust at this revelation of Lois Einhorn's past identity as Ray Finkle, suggesting she had kissed all of them as he did Ace. In a rage, Ray makes one last attempt to kill Ace but he flips him over the wharf into the water. Ace then finds the ring with the missing stone on his hand, to finalize his theory that Lois Einhorn was no doubt the disgraced Ray Finkle and he is arrested for all of his crimes.
The film ends with Ace at a Dolphins game. All seems fine and Ace and Melissa share a kiss. While they kiss, Ace spots a rare $25,000 Albino pigeon he has been looking for, but the opposing team's mascot shoos it away and smarts off at Ventura. As the mascot and Ace brawl, Ace is praised by the stadium announcer and the film fades out.
- Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura
- Courteney Cox as Melissa Robinson
- Sean Young as Lt. Lois Einhorn / Ray Finkle
- Tone Lōc as Emilio
- John Capodice as Sgt. Aguado
- Dan Marino as Himself
- Noble Willingham as Riddle
- Troy Evans as Roger Podacter
- Raynor Scheine as Woodstock
- Udo Kier as Ronald Camp
- Frank Adonis as Vinnie
- Tiny Ron as Roc
- David Margulies as Doctor
- Bill Zuckert as Mr. Finkle
- Alice Drummond as Mrs. Finkle
- Rebecca Ferratti as Sexy Woman
- Mark Margolis as Mr. Shickadance
- Randall "Tex" Cobb as Gruff Man
- Cannibal Corpse as Themselves
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective received mixed reviews. It holds a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 51 reviews. However, it was much more popular with the general public, making back over six times its budget at the U.S. box office and embedding itself, the Ventura character, and his catch-phrases in pop culture. Along with The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, the film is widely credited with launching the career of actor Jim Carrey. Carrey was nominated for the 1994 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance but lost to Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. Carrey was also nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star". The film's popularity spawned a 1995 sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, with Carrey returning in the lead role.
The film has frequently been noted by commentators as sexist, transphobic, and homophobic for its depiction and treatment of the character Lois Einhorn. Julia Serano cited the film as an example of the trope of "deceptive transsexuals" in the media.
American Film Institute recognition:
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "All-righty then!" - Nominated
Ace Ventura grossed $12,115,105 in 1,750 theaters in its first week. When it stopped showing in theaters in the US and Canada, the total gross was $72,217,396. It went on to gross $35,000,000 internationally.
- "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information - The Numbers". Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- "MTV Move Awards 1994". MTV. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
- "Hey, Ace, Homophobia's Not So Funny!". Los Angeles Times. 1994-02-26. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Renshaw, Scott (1994). "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)". IMDB. Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Christina, Greta (June 1994). "The Good, The Bad, and The Profitable: Queers in Hollywood in the Last Year". Retrieved 2011-05-11.
- Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press. p. 37. ISBN 1-58005-154-5.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at the Internet Movie Database
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at allmovie