"Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" is every bit as stupid, ridiculous and laugh-out-loud funny as its trailers would suggest. Versatile comedian Jim Carrey of television's "In Living Color" does everything he can think of to make the audience laugh, no matter how unconventional or downright goofy. And to a large extent, his shenanigans produce the desired effect. The story, about the theft of a team mascot, is nothing to write home about but it serves as an efficient device whereby Mr. Carrey can display a wide array of his talents.
Ace Ventura is an oddity in the crime-fighting world. He's a detective not of humans, but of pets. Garnering even less respect from police officers than a traditional detective, Ace's cases rarely coincide with anything the department would be interested in. This changes when Snowflake, the mascot of the Miami Dolphins football team turns up missing one morning. Besides providing the halftime entertainment at the upcoming Superbowl, Snowflake's importance stems from his ongoing presence in the Dolphin's lives, allowing them to form a sense of security.
With his extraordinary deductive skills, Ace is able to pick up on clues that the police would likely have missed. More than once he butts heads with willful police lieutenant Einhorn (Sean Young), who sees Ace's career as one big joke. Eventually, though, Mr. Ventura stumbles on a crucial piece of evidence which implicates a member of the football team in the dolphin-snatching. A little further detective work determines that the culprit's next victim is Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino. Ace, bent on cracking the case himself, sets out alone. Unfortunately, this sets him up to get captured by the very person he's out to foil.
Although other characters figure into the storyline, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" really is a one-man show. With anyone other than Jim Carrey in the lead role, this film could have easily been a snore-fest. But Mr. Carrey is such a lanky, bizarre and effortless clown that he could make even the stuffiest of stuffed shirts laugh at his antics. Besides being a gifted physical comedian, a rarity these days, he is also extremely likable.
Kids, at whom this film is aimed, will doubtless get the most out of Carrey's performance, although some of the humor in the film is of the bedroom variety and not entirely appropriate for young minds. It's really too bad that the writer's, Carrey included, felt it necessary to throw in gags aimed at adults. What's more, it wasn't necessary because adults won't be able to resist his agreeable foolishness for very long.