Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

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Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Oedekerk
Produced by James G. Robinson
Written by Steve Oedekerk
Based on Characters 
by Jack Bernstein
Starring Jim Carrey
Ian McNeice
Simon Callow
Maynard Eziashi
Bob Gunton
Sophie Okonedo
Tommy Davidson
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Donald E. Thorin
Edited by Malcolm Campbell
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 10, 1995 (1995-11-10)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $212,385,533[1]

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is a 1995 American comedy film[2] and the sequel to the 1994 American film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Jim Carrey reprises his role as the title character Ace Ventura, a detective who specializes in retrieval of tame and captive animals. Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, and Sophie Okonedo co-star. Tommy Davidson, who co-starred with Carrey on the show In Living Color, makes a cameo appearance in the film.

The film was written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, who had also collaborated in the production of the first film. Tom DeCerchio, the director of Celtic Pride, was originally slated to direct the film but left after shooting began.[3] The film has developed a large cult following since its release. It was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Ace Ventura, Jr.: Pet Detective, in 2009.


In the Himalayas, a failed rescue mission results in a raccoon falling to its death (a parody of Cliffhanger). Ace Ventura then undergoes an emotional breakdown and joins a Tibetan monastery. After he has recovered, he is approached by Fulton Greenwall, a British correspondent working for a provincial consulate in the fictional African country of Nibia. Because Ace's influence is disruptive to the monastery, the Grand Abbot gives Ace excuses to justify his departure, and sends him with Greenwall.

Thereafter, Greenwall asks Ventura to find the white bat 'Shikaka', a sacred animal of the Wachati tribe, which disappeared shortly after being offered as dowry of the Wachati Princess, who is set to wed the Wachootoo Prince to form armistice between the two people. Accompanied by his capuchin monkey, Spike, Ace travels to Africa to search for the missing bat.

After arriving in Nibia and meeting with consul Vincent Cadby, Ace begins investigating his case, but must overcome his fear of bats in order to succeed. He travels to the Wachati tribal village, where he learns that if the bat is not returned in time, the Wachootoo will declare war on the Wachati tribe. Thereafter much of Ace's activity involves eliminating obvious suspects—animal traders, poachers, and a Safari park owner among others—and enduring the growing escalations of threat between the Wachati and the Wachootoo. This proves difficult, and is made more so by other incidents including attempts to kill him, a series of gruelling tasks set by the Wachootoo, and the Wachati princess' attempts to seduce him.

Perplexed by the case, Ace consults the Grand Abbot via astral projection. Advised by the Abbot, Ace deduces that Vincent Cadby has taken the bat and hired Ace to divert suspicion from himself, having planned to let the tribes destroy each other so that he can then take possession of the numerous bat caves containing guano to sell as fertilizer worth billions. When Ace confronts Cadby with this knowledge, Ace learns he was hired as Cadby's alibi, and he is arrested by tribal security chief, Hitu. Shortly after, Ace calls an elephant to escape, and summons herds of jungle animals to destroy Cadby's house. Cadby then tries to shoot Ace, but is thwarted by Greenwall who punches him in the face. Cadby escapes with the bat in a car, but Ace follows him in a Monster truck. In pursuit, Ace destroys Cadby's car, leaving the bat cage lodged in a tree.

Ace, despite his chiroptophobia, dramatically returns the bat just as the tribes are charging on a field to fight; and Cadby, watching nearby, is discovered by the Wachati prince, Ouda, and pursued by both tribes, later to be raped by an amorous silverback gorilla. The Princess is married to the Prince, who Ace had to fight as one of the Wachootoo tribal challenges. Moments later, it is discovered that the young bride is no longer a virgin, apparently on Ace's account. Both tribes then pursue Ace, concluding the movie.


Production notes[edit]

The movie was set in a fictional location in Africa but was actually shot in various locations in and around Charleston, South Carolina.

Part of the film was shot in San Antonio, Texas and British Columbia, Canada.

When listing other words that start with "sh-" after hearing of the Shikaka, Ace includes "Shawshank Redemption". This may be a nod to actor Bob Gunton, as he appears in both films. Also, when Ace has Bob Gunton's character, Burton Quinn, tied to a chair, Ace calls him "Sweeney Toad", a reference to his having played the title character in a theater production of Sweeney Todd.

Alternative versions[edit]

When aired in syndication, there is an alternative version of the 'rhino scene' (wherein Ace escapes with difficulty from within a mechanical rhinoceros) in which Ace stands up after emerging from the rhino and shouts "Man, was I lost!".

In order to receive a PG certificate, the UK release of the film features a number of cuts, equalling one minute and 35 seconds for the theatrical release, plus a further three seconds when re-classified for home video. These cut scenes include:

  • Elements of the raccoon rescue attempt;
  • Ace's comment of "Excuse me, your balls are showing. Bumblebee tuna!" to a crouching tribe member;
  • Ace's snorting when displaying his affection to the chief;
  • A scene wherein Greenwall catches Ace masturbating, made more explicit by Ace's shadow on the wall and some of Ace's speech;
  • Some images of Ace prodding his eyeball while interrogating Quinn;
  • A scene in which, after removing the apple core from one Wachootoo's throat, Ace pushes a baby out of a pregnant Wachootoo woman; and
  • During Ace's duel, the warrior stands on Ace and tears the spears from his legs.

During the 'projector scene', the U.K. version features Ace casting bird-like shadows with both hands, as opposed to the single hand in the original release.

This film was shot in Super 35, so the fullscreen version is open matte, and reveals more to the top and bottom of the screen (sections that were not actually intended to be seen); it also crops the sides.


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $37,804,076 during its opening weekend, taking the #1 spot. In the U.S. and Canada, the film grossed $108.3 million, and in other territories, it grossed $104 million. The worldwide gross was $212.3 million. Against its $30 million budget, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was a major financial success.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film gained a 33% based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10, and the consensus reading: "Nature Calls in this Ace Ventura sequel, and it's answered by the law of diminishing returns."[5] On Metacritic, the film received a 45 out of 100 based on 17 reviews.[6] But just like the first film, the sequel has gained a positive response from the public.


1996 ASCAP Award

1996 American Comedy Award

  • Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) - Jim Carrey (Nominated)

1996 Kid's Choice Awards

  • Favorite Movie - (Won)
  • Favorite Movie Actor - Jim Carrey (Won)

1996 MTV Movie Awards

  • Best Male Performance - Jim Carrey (Won)
  • Best Comedic Performance - Jim Carrey (Won)
  • Best Kiss - Jim Carrey and Sophie Okonedo (Nominated)

1996 Razzie Awards

1996 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards[7]

  • Worst Picture - James G. Robinson (Nominated)
  • Worst Actor - Jim Carrey (Nominated)
  • Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy - James G. Robinson (Won)
  • Worst Sequel - James G. Robinson (Won)
  • The Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For - James G. Robinson (Nominated)


  1. ^ a b "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)". Box Office Mojo. 1996-03-02. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Ace Ventura - When Nature Calls (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  6. ^ "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Past Winners Database". 2007-01-03. Retrieved 2015-09-16. 

External links[edit]