Looking back, it is almost impossible to imagine that this goofy little comedy jumpstarted the career of one of the most respected actors around. Ace Ventura is still fun to watch, but it's also quite tiring and turns out to be stuffed to the brim with lame jokes. Still, you have to admit that some genius shines through, and Carrey is likeable enough as the hero to make it at least a little bit understandable what made such an insane amount of people make the trip to the cinema.
In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Carrey plays the titular hero, a sleuth who has decided to dedicate his life to helping out animals. You don't call him when a millionaire is kidnapped, you call him when it's his dog or cat that has dissapeared. Ace is called to action when the mascotte of American football team Miami Dolphins goes missing. The timing couldn't have been much worse, since Miami is in the Superbowl and the coaches are worried that their team will not be able to play when their lucky dolphin is not at their side. It's up to Carrey to find him, as quickly as possible, and preferably before he ends up in a can of tuna.
What follows is an intrigue that is so ridiculous that it's almost believable again. Ace ends up on the trail of one of the old kickers of the team, a man with a big grudge against the Dolphins, who seems like the prime suspect. Ace has his own ways to solve cases, and nobody is really prepared for his methods. Cinema audiences also weren't prepared for Carrey's brand of physical comedy, which maybe explains why they lapped it up in droves. Some of Carrey's mannerisms in this movie are a bit irritating (if somebody says 'allrighty now' one more time, I swear heads are going to roll!), but even the most hardened cynic is helpless against Carrey. It's his movie from start to finish, and there aren't many comedians who are so efficient in making a whole audience crack up so badly. The movie might not be as fresh anymore as ten years ago, but it's still good reference material to show you what Carrey started out with.