Anyone who knows me well knows that Jim Carrey played a very important part in my life; he is the reason I love films as much as I do. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this if it wasn’t for him. So upon the announcement that his most iconic character’s two cinematic outings would be making their way to Blu-Ray, I just had to jump at the chance to talk about it, especially since my copy arrived a day early, and I got to enjoy both films in HD glory. The first film is covered, so I’ll be tackling the sequel, When Nature Calls, which sees our animal loving hero travel to Africa in search of a sacred bat, whose absence could spark a war between two rival tribes.
If you’d asked me six years ago what my favourite Jim Carrey movie was, this always would’ve been the answer; I was obsessed, but looking back now, it really isn’t as good as I remember. It’s biggest issue is it’s attempts to recapture the essence of the first film. This film came out only a year after the original, and it kind of shows in the first act. Everything is turned up to 11 as they try to up the ante with the humour, because everybody loved the zany comedy of the first one and naturally, they were desperate to recreate. Unfortunately, it just tries a little too hard, and Ace Ventura – a character who is already incredibly over the top – goes a little too far, to the point of desperate as opposed to hilarity.
This is very much the case with Carrey’s performance; he overplays it far too much in the first 20 minutes. In the first film, he’s constantly turned on but it’s just the right amount. It’s so over the top that it’s funny, but not to the point where it’s unbearable. We know nowadays that Carrey doesn’t like making sequels, but this is the film that launched his career and it makes sense that he’d rush into a sequel, but there definitely needed to be more time before this was made. It all feels a little rushed, and is nowhere near as memorable as the first film, especially with it’s uninteresting roster of characters.
However, once the first 20 minutes are over, Carrey’s performance seriously improves, whilst the film stills levels at decent. It’s like he gets to a point where he suddenly fine tunes what he’s doing and it starts to be funny. There are some seriously hilarious moments in this film, including one that has me making an incessant hissing noise that would probably make people call the police if they heard it. It settles into the Ace Ventura we’re used to, and as a result, the film becomes far more enjoyable. Whilst it lacks the originality and freshness of the first one, it’s definitely an ambitious, not only raising the stakes for the character and putting him in a new and exciting location, but also daring to be a lot more action oriented than the first film was, and it’s admittedly quite exciting. The film doesn’t always achieve what it’s going for, but it’s certainly not a failure either.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls may lack the charm and impact of it’s predecessor, but it’s a very decent comedy that is a pleasure to watch, especially in stunning HD.
And hey, at least it’s not Ace Ventura Jr.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is re-released on DVD & Blu-Ray now!