Ace Ventura is a comedy movie series starring Jim Carrey. The first film was 1994's Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, and it's the movie that catapulted Carrey into A-list fame when it became a surprise hit. It was followed by a sequel, 1995's Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and an Animated Adaptation. An adventure video game adaptation was released in 1997.The entire gimmick of Ace Ventura is that he's a modern-day Sherlock Holmes... mixed with Tarzan and Doctor Dolittle. Using these "skills", Ace becomes a Pet Detective, finding and saving animals. In the first movie he appears as nothing more than a local nut helping people find their lost cats and whatnot, but being the only Pet Detective in the area (and possibly existence), he gets roped into a high-profile investigation. Possibly due to this, he's become pretty well known in the second movie, where he is hired to recover a sacred bat stolen from two African tribes before war erupts between them.Notably, while Jim Carrey enjoyed himself in the original, he allegedly disliked the sequel so much, that he vowed to never do a sequel again - whether this is for the better or the worse for his film career we'll likely never know, but so far he's kept to that vow, and so far he's still on the A-list for comedy.The film is pretty well known for its crude humor and vulgar jokes (toned down slightly for the second movie and animated series) as well the hero talking out of his ass; no, literally he talks out of his ass. However it also featured a fairly intelligent plot and featured Courteney Cox as Melissa Robinson and Sean Young as Lt. Lois Einhorn.As of 2009 it now has its own Spinoff Babies, the direct-to-DVD Ace Ventura Jr., Pet Detective.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
The Ace: Granted, Ace isn't the expert at everything — although he has his moments of success and some not-so-great pratfalls.
The Alleged Car: Ace's car fails to start, which lets the angry dirtbag man he took the missing dog from catch up to smash in his windshield and batter his car. Ace, strapped for cash, can't pay to fix the busted windshield, which is so badly shattered he can't see out it anymore and has to stick his head out while driving. It's a wonder he didn't get in trouble with the law for driving like that.
Anachronism Stew: In the animated series episode "Dragon Guy", a computer is used in Robin Hood times.
Animal Nemesis: In the sequel, Ace is attacked by a crocodile, but the fight quickly turns in his favor. The croc even tries to escape and Ace drags it back into the river by its tail to wail on it some more.
Bad Vibrations: Done subtly (at first) in the second movie. As the villain is indulging in a low-key Evil Gloating with a slight What Could Possibly Go Wrong?, everyone falls silent as they feel the house start to vibrate. At first, it's quiet, as if they could possibly be imagining the sound. But it gets louder, and louder, until a horde of animals bursts through the wall, followed by Ace on an ostrich in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
Battle Interrupting Shout: At the end of When Nature Calls, Ace prevents a war between the two neighboring African tribes by running between the armies with their sacred bat in his hands, shouting its name (which according to the tribes' traditions, requires all who hear it to kneel).
Berserk Button: A subversion in When Nature Calls: In a fight with a crazed Wachootoo tribesman, the tribesman grabs Ace and rearranges his hair into horns, mocking Ace's reputation as the "White Devil." Ace gets up and says that this has gone far enough, "Nobody... messes... with the DO!"... and then proceeds to get further pummeled by the tribesman.
Harming animals is, naturally, a big one for Ace... unless they're bats.
Ace: (arms going limp, speech slurred) Startin' to get numb...
Black Comedy Rape: In When Nature Calls, the main bad guy, after his plans to bring the Wachati and Wachootoo tribes into war with each other are brought crashing down around his ears, tries to escape their wrath, but is cornered by a silverback gorilla with... amorous intentions. Cue "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
It's left to the viewers' imagination whether Ouda is actually a bad translator, or if he's working to keep Ace alive with his mistranslations; the Wachootoo don't seem like peace-loving people, and might take fatal offense to Ace's cowardice.
Blow Gun: In When Nature Calls, Ace is shot with dozens of little darts (with hilarious effects) before he passes out.
Brain Bleach: Ace reacts to the realization that a woman who he was sexually attracted to used to be a man by vomiting his entire stomach's contents into the toilet (using a plunger on his face), burning his clothes and then scrubbing himself down in the shower while sobbing.
That scene was a spoof of The Crying Game. And even came with the song (as sung by Boy George) in the background.
The next scene, he's in his car, chewing a whole package of Big Red gum.
There's more to that. When he strips her down to her underwear but she still appears to lack the evidence, a tied-up Dan Marino calls his attention to reveal one more detail. Ace strolls back to her and turns her around, revealing that she still has her equipment...tucked in between her legs, presumably with duct tape. Cue the SWATs doing the retching routine. And they even put in the same music as when he had his own revelation!
Brick Joke: The aforementioned "It wasn't a gun!" bit
Fulton: I believe they're saying that she's not a virgin.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ace is extremely eccentric, on top of likely being schizophrenic with acute manic episodes. However, he is also a knowledgeable and skilled animal handler, top-notch investigator, ace driver, excellent actor, capable fighter and love-maker par excellence.
Bus Crash: Ace's absence from Ace Ventura Jr. was explained away by him dying in a plane crash years ago.
The Can Kicked Him: "Do not go in there!" (it's not in the actual bathroom, but Ace has to pretend it is)
"Unfortunately, in every contest, there must be... a loser. Lu-hoo... zu-her."
Caught on the Jumbotron: Ace beats the crap out of a bird-suited mascot on a Jumbotron at the end of the first movie. The reason? He shooed away a runaway pigeon that had a cool reward of $25,000 on its head. Good news is, it was the away team's mascot, and the Dolphins were yukking it up, along with Melissa. Gets coupled with Description Cut since the announcer introduced him as a lover of all life's creatures just before he got caught.
Chased by Angry Natives: At the end of the second film. Ace deflowered the bride-to-be of the Wachooto Tiny Warrior that already mopped the floor with him earlier. Ace managed to skate out of being killed by the Wachooto and was on friendly terms with both them and the Wachati. Then the Tiny Warrior notices... cue everyone chasing Ace in murderous anger.
Chekhov's Gun: Ace's initial Sherlock Scan of Cadby alerts him to an abrasion on his palm and a white stain on his shoe, which he uses to deduce that Cadby slipped on some shoddy masonry work. This later clues him in to the fact that the white substance Cadby slipped on was in fact guano, which along with its substantial monetary value made him the true culprit.
During the start of his investigation, Ace plays drums with several mushroom heads growing on a tree... the red, fungus-bearing acala.
Justified since Ace was in self-exile in Tibet for the second film and then went straight to Africa. One would simply assume none of the former cast decided to shell out the cash to leave the country just to join in on the antics.
Melissa appears in Ace Jr.. She's out of the sports business and worked with animals, married Ace and they have a son. She's played by Ann Cusack.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: Ace's methods of interrogating suspects include rubbing a ceramic plate with a knife and a fork really fast, then poking at his own eye.
The eye thing works on the guy he's trying it on. "(retches) Oh God, no! My brother used to do that to me!"
Contrived Coincidence: In the second movie, Ace is looking for a ride to chase after Cadby, who's escaping into the jungle. The only car in the parking lot with keys oh-so-conveniently left in the ignition is a big honking monster truck with tires half the size of the other guy's jeep.
Cranky Landlord: Mr. Shickadance from the movie and video game, is a cranky old man who hates animals. Despite his warnings for Ace not to bring any work home, Ace secretly keeps more than a dozen housepets in his room, having trained the animals to hide when the landlord appears.
Ace Ventura:[whispering] Yes, Satan? [turns around] Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I thought it was another entity.
Mr. Shickadance:Never mind the wisecracks, Ventura. [coughs in Ace's face]...You owe me rent.
Ace Ventura: "Einhorn is Finkle...Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man! Oh, my god! Einhorn is a man?!"
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ace, in spades. Despite his constant goofy, idiotic behavior, he repeatedly demonstrates an astounding amount of knowledge regarding anything related to animals, is shown to work very diligently on his cases, can put up a decent fight, even if he loses, and is apparently quite the lover as evidenced by Melissa's astounded "THREE times?", and his apologetic, "I must be tired"
Emilio: Don't worry. If there's one thing I know, it's that there's nothing Ace can't handle.
Ace Ventura: (cut to him sobbing while being held at gunpoint) Please don't kill me!
Destructo-Nookie: When Ace gets to bed Melissa in the first film, he is REALLY WILD in bed, banging the headboard against the wall. The animals watching and reacting adds to the comedy. As does The Lion Sleeps Tonight being used as nookie music.
Melissa:[exhausted] Oh my God! Three times?
Ace: I'm sorry, that's never happened before. I must be getting tired. [beat] Okay, I'm ready again!
Detective Mole: a murder and two kidnappings (one dolphin and one Dolphin) were investigated by police Lieutenant Lois Einhorn.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the crossover episode, Ace manages to actually best The Mask at his own game- I repeat, he bested a super-powered entity that can warp reality.
Ace:Alrighty then! [smacks man in the face, who looks like "The Monopoly Guy", which knocks him unconscious, drapes him over his shoulders and begins to sing and dance exotically] [shakes man] Do not pass go! Do not collect $200!
Evil-Detecting Dog: "SO! Animals... CAN sense Evil!" Fridge Brilliance in that the dog doesn't just sense evil, he may very well have witnessed the murder in question and is therefore quite naturally reacting to the sight of someone who harmed his master.
Face-Heel Turn: Subverted by Fulton Greenwald in the sequel. The only reason he didn't hit the lights for Ace is because he was confused by Ace's Unnecessary Combat Rolling; he gets it together later and knocks out Cadby before the villain can shoot Ace.
Although this probably had more to do with the giant windows and it being the middle of the day.
Flipping the Bird: In the first film Ace has a football player give him the finger so he can get a good look at his championship ring.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the first movie, when Ace's dog lies on the Photo of Ray Finkle, the newspaper beneath it has a story on it about an alien abduction, the acompanying image is of The Cybermen.
Generation Xerox: An episode of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective shows Ace Ventura's medieval ancestor as a pet detective, Guado's ancestor as a corrupt sheriff, and Woodstock's ancestor as the informer of Ace's ancestor (complete with a steampunk computer).
Getting Hot in Here: In When Nature Calls, things got a bit hot for Ace whilst spying on someone from within a tank disguised as a rhino. After stripping bare, he finds that the tank door is jammed, so he crawls out through the rhinobot's vagina, meaning that a safari-going family got to witness a rhino giving birth to a fully-grown, naked human.
Good Is Not Nice: Ace Ventura is a send-up of this sort of character, whether intentionally or otherwise. He literally talks out of his backside, is inherently immature and even sociopathic, but losing someone he was trying to save drives him into seclusion in a monastery. Said someone was a raccoon...
A notable subversion if you realize where his loyalties lie. He's a PET detective and thus, the ones he is nicest to are ALL animals.
GPS Evidence: In When Nature Calls, Ace gets shot by multiple darts and suspects the darts are being shot by the Wachootoo tribe. After the scene with the tribe, he gets shot again and finds out the Wachootoo dart didn't match the original darts. Ace discovers the original dart was carved from a "red, fungus-bearing acala" which is grown only in one area in the jungle where the bat-nappers are hiding.
Gretzky Has the Ball: Done deliberately by the writers. Super Bowl XVII wasn't between the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers; that would be Super Bowl XIX. The Dolphins were in Super Bowl XVII, but it was against the Washington Redskins. Also, Miami never lost by a last second field goal in either game; that was based on the last-second kick missed by Scott Norwood of the Buffalo Bills is Super Bowl XXV. (Granted, Norwood never lived down missing that kick, but thankfully, he didn't take things nearly as far as Ray Finkle does in this movie.)
Heroic BSOD: Ace tries to figure out Einhorn's involvement with Finkle's revenge. After what seemed like hours, he came up with nothing, becoming depressed.
Ace:(to his dog) Face it... your master is a loser.
Improv Fu: Ace Ventura invokes this when in a tight situation.
Incredibly Long Note: In the first movie, Ace has some fun with a soundproof glass door. He starts his psuedo-opera note, and opens and closes the door about six times, just to prove that the door was soundproof, and to annoy Einhorn.
Just Plane Wrong: In When Nature Calls, the opening sequence features Ace climbing some Alpine-looking mountains, dressed in suspenders and shorts often stereotypically portrayed on Swiss alpinists, and there is a helicopter flying around him painted in crimson red with a white cross at each side — the symbol and flag of Switzerland. The aircraft's tail number (license plate)? Canadian registration. Location shooting indeed...
Melissa: What are you thinking, Ace? Ace: I'm thinking that this whole thing is connected somehow.
Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls: Bat kidnapping -> plot to wipe out two indigenous African tribes and seize their land.
Ace:(to himself) THINK! Someone wants these two tribes to destroy each other! Perhaps there's something valuable in this equation.
Misplaced Wildlife: In the sequel, which takes place in Africa. The Indian elephant is excusable, as they're much more docile and easier to train than African elephants. But not a single animal in Quinn's warehouse was African. There were a Bengal tiger (Asian), a jaguar, macaws and a toucan (all South American). Quinn also wasn't surprised to see Spike, a South American black-capped capuchin.
Quinn most likely illegally smuggled the animals away from their natural habitat to put on his safari tour. Ace, when he first meets Quinn, points out that his pet raven Tiki isn't even from Africa.
Ace: I represent the Princess. Ouda: "I am a Princess." (The Wachootoo tribe murmur in confusion. One of the tribesmen rises up and smiles.)
Also happens in the first film when Ace is trying to sneak a peek at a former Miami Dolphin's championship ring while he uses the urinal. The football player, however, is far from offended and Ace makes a hasty retreat from his new "friend."
Mobile Shrubbery: Ace holds a palmetto frond in front of himself in order to sneak past his landlord's window. Then he throws away the frond, onto the pile of fronds from all the previous times he snuck past.
Mundane Made Awesome: In the first movie, Ace sneaking into the dolphin tank, to the tune of Mission: Impossible.
Never My Fault: Finkle blames Dan Marino for the missed field goal that cost the Dolphins the Super Bowl, saying that if Marino had held the ball "laces out" like he was supposed to, Finkle would never have missed that kick. Even his parents think so, and his mom believes everyone else knows it.
Not So Stoic: The Monks from the second film. When introduced, they're all meditating and peaceful. When they learn that Ace is leaving, they start partying with loud music, wine, throwing toilet paper, and one guy dancing in his underwear.
One episode of the cartoon has Ace filling in for a James Bond-Expy. As he comes under fire while chasing the villain down in the requisite Cool Car, he notes his ability to catch bullets in his teeth, and prepares to do so. The villain launches a missile at Ace. He still catches it.
Only In Miami: The first movie's plot revolves around the Miami Dolphins.
And involves a story based on their real-life archrivals, the Buffalo Bills, losing Super Bowl 25 on a missed field goal.
Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: An interesting use in Ace Ventura Pet Detective: First Ace feels what he thinks is a gun while Lois Einhorn tries to seduce him, and points it out ("Your gun is digging into my hip."). But later, when he learns who Einhorn really is, Ace gets promptly squicked and begins to cry "It wasn't a gun! It wasn't a gun!", with the Boy George song "The Crying Game" playing in the background.
Made even more hilarious if you speak any German, as "Einhorn" means "Unicorn" or, literally, "one horn".
Overly-Long Gag: Ace opens and closes a soundproof door whilst screaming to make a point. He does it six times, for no discernible reason.
Really Gets Around: Implied with Einhorn. When Ace reveals to the police that Einhorn is really a man, every cop in attendance begins spitting in disgust.
Ace himself has this reputation, first with the rich lady that he rescued the dog for in the opening. Then there was Melissa and almost Einhorn. Lastly, it was implied that Ace took the Wachati princess' virginity.
Reveal Shot: Ace drives through what appears to be the African savannah. We pull back to see Ace is the only one hopping in his seat. Then we see they're driving on a flat road and pass a Subway billboard.
Room Full of Crazy: Ray Finkle's room in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, covered with scrawls of "Laces Out" and "Die Dan Die," left Ace (and the audience) in no doubt that Finkle lost his mind following the disastrous missed field goal that cost the Dolphins the Super Bowl and that he's got some rather ugly designs on Dan Marino, whom he blames for the whole thing. Ace would later say of the room, "Cozy, if you're Hannibal Lecter."
Ouda: Here, take my torch. Ace: Thank you, Helpy Helperton.
Ace: I'm sure Ouda is going for help right now. Ouda: Hello, Ace. They've captured me. No sweat. Ace: Don't beat yourself up.
Scarily Competent Tracker: Subverted in the Ace Ventura animated series: Ace finds a footprint and gives a detailed description of the owner's age, size, health, and appearance. Turns out the guy dropped a drivers' license next to the footprint.
Shark Pool: Subverted in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, when Ace stumbles into a literal Shark Pool that turns out to actually vindicate the man he is investigating, who was shaping up before that to be a classic arch-villain. (Ace thought it contained the stolen Miami Dolphins mascot.)
Sherlock Scan: "Except of course for that spot of blood on the railing over there!"
When he searches the Bat's hut in the second film, he does an extensive version of this one.
Shoot The Television: Lois Einhorn from Pet Detective reveals herself as Ray Finkle when commentary during the Super Bowl halftime show on the "Kick Heard Round The World" that ruined Finkle's career pushes her over the edge:
Lois Einhorn: THE LACES WERE IN! THEY WERE IN![shoots the screen]
While driving crazily through the African jungle, he takes the time to sing the title song of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ace is hiding in a mailbox when he tries to grab a ring, just like an Eastern cult member from Help!.
Shower of Angst: Ace, after realizing the woman he kissed used to be a man. He also chews an enormous wad of gum. And burns all his clothes, uses a toilet plunger on his face, and vomits his entire stomach contents.
So Much for Stealth: Ace sneaks into the mental hospital's storage room and accidentally steps on bubble wrap (but doesn't get caught).
Solid Gold Poop: In When Nature Calls the motivation for the bad guys to want to get rid of the peaceful tribe is to get their hands on their guano-rich lands, thereby giving them a chance to make a killing on the fertilizer market.
Spit Take: Ace Junior's hair changes while brushing his teeth.
Stalker Shrine: Ray Finkle's room is a stalker shrine to Dan Marino...or at least, to the famous Super Bowl play that made Finkle a goat.
Standing Between The Enemies: At the climax of When Nature Calls, Ace stops two mounting armies by running between them holding the sacred bat they had been about to fight over.
The Summation: In the first one, he enjoys turning these into the most absurd spectacle imaginable. His first summation involves a drawn-out scream. His second involves stripping a fake woman (who is also a police lieutenant!) to her underwear.
In the second, he picks up the tendency to do these really quickly in one breath, which carries over to the animated series.
Transformation Trinket: In the Ace Ventura cartoon series episode "Howl Of The Weremoose", the original weremoose Drew Talbit has a moose talisman he uses to change into his weremoose form; he is able to transform at will but everyone he bites becomes as Ace puts it...his mindless weremoose slaves. It is also revealed that smashing the talisman will break the curse and turn everyone back to normal. Unfortunately Ace doesn't read the fine print which says he who destroys the tailsman gets the antlers of the grand high moose himself. Ace ends up with moose antlers; it is also said that the antlers can be removed by rubbing moosebane on them- to which Ace exclaims..."Where are we going to get moosebane in Miami!?"
Transsexual: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective features one of the less flattering parodies of The Crying Game, revealing that the villain is actually Lt. Lois Einhorn, who this whole time was really the missing football player Ray Finkle, having gone through complete transition (but remaining non-op), adopted the identity of a missing hiker, and became a Lieutenant, seemingly all in the sake of the perfect disguise.
Trash Landing: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace falls and land on his back on a pile of garbage from a roof of a two story building when trying to catch the rare albino pigeon.
Trolling Translator: In When Nature Calls, Ace's translator understood the dialect of the other tribe perfectly, but decided to make Ace sound crazier and dangerous with what he told them he said. Including "I am a Princess".
Vomiting Cop: Parodied in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, wherein every cop on the force throws up spits when they learn that Lois Einhorn is a man. Couple that with the facts that Ace himself threw up when he found out, and that he had a...tryst with Einhorn, and you can connect the dots.
You, Get Me Coffee: Ace Ventura Pet Detective After Dan Marino is kidnapped, Einhorn walks into the office and orders things like an autopsy report, for no one to talk to the press... "And somebody get me some coffee!"
Ace: "Tonight on Miami Vice, Crockett gets the boss some coffee."