Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

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This article is about the film. For the TV series, see Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (TV series).
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Ace ventura pet detective.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Tom Shadyac
Produced by James G. Robinson
Screenplay by Jack Bernstein
Tom Shadyac
Jim Carrey
Story by Jack Bernstein
Starring Jim Carrey
Courteney Cox
Sean Young
Tone Lōc
Dan Marino
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography Julio Macat
Edited by Don Zimmerman
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 4, 1994 (1994-02-04)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[1]
Box office $107.2 million

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (or simply Ace Ventura, or also simply Pet Detective) is a 1994 American comedy detective film directed by Tom Shadyac, and co-written by and starring Jim Carrey. 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. In the film, Carrey plays Ace Ventura, an animal detective who is tasked with finding the Miami Dolphins' mascot that was abducted.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 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. In addition to launching Carrey into stardom, the film has a large cult following.

Plot[edit]

Ace Ventura 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; furthermore, his eccentricities make him the laughing stock of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

At Joe Robbie Stadium, Snowflake, a bottlenose dolphin mascot of the Miami Dolphins, is kidnapped two weeks before the team is due to play in the Super Bowl. The team's owner Mr. Riddle (Noble Willingham), believing the team will lose the Super Bowl unless Snowflake is returned, orders his Head of Operations Roger Podacter (Troy Evans) and Chief Publicist Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox) to find the dolphin, or they will be fired. They hire Ventura to solve the case. He 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 player who played in this competition into showing their ring, but every ring he checks appears to be intact and original.

Later, Podacter mysteriously falls to his death from his apartment, which Robinson and Ventura go to investigate. Although Miami Police Lt. Lois Einhorn (Sean Young) insists it was suicide, Ventura proves it was murder, embarrassing and infuriating Einhorn. While trying to find how Podacter's death is connected to Snowflake's disappearance, Ventura learns of a former Dolphins player named Ray Finkle, whom he has not investigated because he did not appear in the team photo since he wasn't added to the team roster until later in the season. 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 ruining his football career. That same night, Ace and Melissa fall in love and have sex while hiding out in Ace's apartment. The next day, Ventura later visits Einhorn and explains his theory: Finkle kidnapped Snowflake out of revenge due to his career having failed and the Dolphins giving their mascot his number and teaching him how to kick a field goal, which Finkle took as an insult.

Ventura visits Finkle's parents and discovers that they blame Dan Marino for taking the snap incorrectly (he was not holding the ball with "laces out"), causing him to miss the kick. Finkle then became so obsessed with the loss and Dan Marino to the point that he became insane and was committed to a mental hospital. Ventura and Robinson go to the mental hospital where Finkle resided. Under the guise of a mental patient, Ventura searches Finkle's belongings and discovers a newspaper article about a missing woman, coincidentally named Lois Einhorn. Studying this, Ventura realizes that Lt. Lois Einhorn is actually Ray Finkle in transgender disguise.

Ventura then follows Einhorn to an abandoned yacht storage facility, where he finds a kidnapped Marino and Snowflake. When the police arrive, Einhorn orders the cops to shoot Ventura, whereupon Ventura tries to expose Einhorn by ripping off her clothes, but fails until assisted by Marino, who points out a protrusion near her buttocks; Podacter was killed by Finkle because he had discovered this detail during a rendezvous with Einhorn. Exposed, Einhorn is humiliated and attempts to kill Ventura, but Ace throws her over into the water and removes a ring from her finger; which happens to be the 1984 AFC Championship ring that has a missing stone. Ace closes the case.

Marino and Snowflake return in time for the Super Bowl between the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles. At halftime, Ventura attempts to capture an albino pigeon (worth a $25,000 reward if found and returned to the owner) earlier sought by himself, but is prevented by Swoop, the Eagles' mascot, who shoos the pigeon away when getting a drink from a cooler. Enraged, Ventura beats the mascot while he is thanked on the JumboTron for saving Marino and Snowflake; Ventura briefly stops fighting Swoop (while still pinning the mascot down) and smiles as the audience cheers for him.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective received mixed reviews. It holds a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10,[2] while it gained a 37 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 14 reviews.[3] 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.[4] 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 accused by commentators as being sexist, transphobic, and homophobic for its depiction and treatment of the character Lois Einhorn.[5] Julia Serano cited the film as an example of the trope of "deceptive transsexuals" in the media.[6]

American Film Institute recognition:

Box Office[edit]

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.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information - The Numbers". Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Reviews - Metacritic". 
  4. ^ "MTV Move Awards 1994". MTV. Retrieved July 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Hey, Ace, Homophobia's Not So Funny!". Los Angeles Times. 1994-02-26. Retrieved 2011-05-11. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
  8. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees

External links[edit]