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The Screening Room
ace ventura jr
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 movies?

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.       

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to CSPR

Photos: Warner Bros. All rights reserved.
DVD Quick Glimpse
cover





MOVIE

Little kids will probably enjoy this more than bigger kids and their parents

TALENT
Director: David Mickey Evans  

Cast: Josh Flitter, Ann Cusack, Emma Lockhart, Ralph Waite 

FEATURES
Gag reel, "Making of" featurettes

RATING
PG

DVD
Picture: Good
Sound: Good

GEEK OUT
Not much to geek out about

TECH SPECS
Aspect Ratio (1.78:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

DVD RELEASE DATE
March 3, 2009
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