Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls</strong> (1995)

(On DVD, January 2009) It turns out that I had avoided this film for nearly fifteen years for a good reason: It’s really not very good. The first few minutes are the worst, as they show everything that can go wrong in a comedy sequel that believes its own hype without understanding why the first film was a hit. We get the mannerisms, the same catchphrases, the goofy faces, but little of Ventura’s skill or a sense that the quirks are coming from the same core: it’s all surface imitation without any depth, and it’s the difference between spending 90 minutes with a fascinating person, and knowing them for a week and finding out that they constantly recycle the same jokes. Fortunately, things improve a little bit in the film’s second half, what with a too-short early role for Sophie Okonedo, more complex plotting and some original comedy. Still, there isn’t much here to recommend, especially for those who liked the first film.

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