The Screening Room
THE STUDIO GATE
The original "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" wasn't anything to write home
about. Jim Carrey and his cohorts made a ton of money from it. It's
sequel, "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," also made a ton of money. So
why not take that childish humor and parlay it into a direct-to-DVD
movie more than a decade later?
"Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective" is now available on DVD.
There isn't anything terribly wrong with a kid's version of "Ace
Ventura." The original idea played to our most childish tendancies to
enjoy slapstick humor. It's just not a very good movie. If you've ever
seen director David Mickey Evans' other direct-to-DVD movie,
"Beethoven's 4th" (2001), you get a sense in how this movie plays. Silly
characters mixed with quick editing and a thin plot makes for passable
entertainment, if you're a younger kid.
Since Jim Carrey has gone onto bigger things like "Yes Man, " this
script focuses on his alleged offspring, Ace Jr. Played by Josh Flitter,
Jr. finds himself wanting to help animals in peril. His mom, played by
Ann Cusack, is arrested for allegedly stealing a panda, so Jr. is now
under the care of his eccentric grandpa (Ralph Waite). It's up to Ace
Jr. to solve the mystery and get his mom back.
Flitter takes Carrey's character and seems to have fun with it. He
doesn't quite have the over-the-top mannerisms that Carrey had, but does
a credible job in making Ace Jr. his own.
The script is credited to four screenwriters, and it shows. The plot is
all over the place. What is lacking, quite surprisingly, are animals.
There aren't enough Ace Ventura Jr. animal jokes. And why do so many
movies today, even the ones that are made for DVD, use lines from other
It's kind of shame, even though the "Ace Ventura" franchise wasn't
anything great, that Jim Carrey couldn't have more involvement with this
movie. A cameo might have been fun. As it stands now, "Jr." can't quite
fill his dad's shoes just yet.
Special thanks to CSPR
Photos: © Warner Bros. All
DVD Quick Glimpse
Little kids will probably enjoy this more
than bigger kids and their parents
Director: David Mickey Evans
Cast: Josh Flitter, Ann Cusack, Emma Lockhart,
Gag reel, "Making of" featurettes
Not much to geek out about
Aspect Ratio (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD RELEASE DATE
March 3, 2009