Picks and Pans Review: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

updated 11/27/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/27/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jim Carrey, Sophie Okonedo, Simon Callow, Ian McNeice, Tommy Davidson

Making a sequel to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was like putting a fur coat on a squirrel. Loud, frantic, timid and infantile, When Nature Calls depends, of course, on the supposed appeal of Carrey, who remains two Stooges shy of a load—slow, clumsy and as subtle as an eye gouge.

After the film's only amusing sequence, an opening that parodies the beginning of Sylvester Stallone's Cliff hanger, Carrey, again playing the animal-friendly detective, takes refuge in a Tibetan monastery until he is summoned to Africa by British diplomat Callow to find a missing sacred bat.

Carrey blurts or blares every line and overplays every expression and gesture. From his Chocolate-Dream-Whip-Run-Amok hairdo to his swaggering John Wayne-Mae West walk, he insists on laughing so heartily at his own antics that it's hard for an audience to find a place to slip in a chuckle.

Not that writer-director Steve Oedekerk is any model of sophistication. He dwells on scenes involving people spitting in each other's faces, masturbation and even regurgitating food into a baby bird's mouth.

The supporting cast is lame, except for the gorgeous young Okonedo as a princess whose tribe worships the bat and In Living Color's Davidson as a fiendishly energetic warrior.

Other than the masturbation sequence and one in which Okonedo's breasts are referred to as her "rack," there is nothing too offensive in this movie. Its existence and commercial success, however, are hardly a glowing tribute to the health of the popular culture. (PG-13)

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