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As pet detective, Carrey entertains in Ace Ventura

Jim Carey returns as a hyperkinetic pet detective in his new film Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.


Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk.

Produced by James G. Robinson.

Starring Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, and Tommy Davidson.

By Daniel Ramirez
Staff Reporter

Are problem sets getting you down? Are tests causing you unwanted stress? Do you need to just get out and have some fun? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have just the right medication to make you laugh. It comes in the form of the hyperkinetic comedian Jim Carrey. Ace Ventura is back as the zany animal sleuth with the gravity-defying hair style and the sanity-defying attitude in the highly-anticipated Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

Summoned from an ashram in Tibet, where he has retreated to seek spiritual guidance (after having failed to save the life of a stranded raccoon), Ace finds himself thrust into the most challenging case of his career. At the request of Vincent Cadby (Simon Callow), the English consul general of the Bonai Province, Ace embarks on a perilous journey into the jungles of Africa with his constant companion Spike the monkey and is also joined by the consul's portly emissary, the unflappable Fulton Greenwall (Ian McNeice).

Ace's mission: to find Shikaka, the missing sacred animal of the friendly Wachati tribe, before the wedding of the Chief's daughter (Sophie Okonedo) to the first son of the warrior Wachootoo tribe (Tommy Davidson). If Ace fails, the result will be tribal war.

Relying on his wits and uncanny powers of detection -- as well as on the aid of some newfound human friends, like the wise and loyal Ouda (Maynard Eziashi) and animal allies like Boba the elephant -- the ingenious Ace outmaneuvers a host of dangerous adversaries as he races against time to recover Shikaka, with the fate of the Bonai Province hanging in the balance.

The last two years have been extraordinary ones for Carrey. Already known for his comic energy and the spectrum of outrageous characters he created in the comedy series In Living Color, Carrey acknowledges that it was his starring role in the original Ace Ventura that catapulted him to film stardom. After standout performances in in The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Batman Forever, Carrey returns to the character closest to his heart and his funny bone: Ace Ventura.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is a non-stop laugh riot. From the opening sequence to the end of the movie, the audience will find themselves trying to contain themselves from laughing so hard. While not as good as the first film, the new film will definitely prove to be Carrey's fifth hit at the box office. During its first weekend, it broke box-office records for the month of November by grossing $40.3 million.

Carrey is simply hilarious in this film. However, as the film progresses, the hilarity at some points seems more like a negative than a plus. In some scenes, much of Carrey's stuff seems repetitive. With nobody else to hold down his elastic comedic talents, Carrey draws all the scenes to himself and causes some some dull spots that should have been toned down.

Nevertheless, the movie is very funny and worth seeing. When Nature Calls is different from the original, so don't expect a carbon copy of the first. Just expect to relieve some stress.