”Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”
I think Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was one of the worst pieces of crap I’ve ever seen. I don’t think Jim Carrey was funny in it at all, and if you made him watch it a couple of times himself, he’d probably quit the business.
Don’t get me wrong — I dearly love Jim. He’s a very funny guy. But I’m really ashamed of him for mugging his way through an hour and a half of toilet humor. Contrary to how he comes off in this movie, Jim is not a buffoon — he’s very talented. But I think audiences will tolerate this kind of embarrassing display for only so long — he can’t just get by with constant mugging. At least Ace Ventura: Pet Detective had some semblance of a plot, but this one doesn’t even make an attempt. A hairdo is not a story. I think Jim has been smokin’ his hair.
People made a big deal about the scene in which Ace, in Africa searching for a tribe’s sacred bat, emerges from a fake rhino as if he’s being born. Gimme a break. That’s Richard Pryor’s old routine, where he comes out of his mother’s womb. This was just a repulsive copy.
There’s no doubt that Jim can make great faces and do all kinds of stretchy things with his mouth, as he demonstrates in the scene in which he fills his mouth with food and asks, ”Do I have something in my teeth?” — but nobody told him when to stop. The important thing about comedy is discipline; you have to know when enough is enough. Jim is so overarranged and over-the-top in When Nature Calls, there’s not a moment of truth in it. The director, Steve Oedekerk, should never have turned out such an inferior product. God, it was unbearable to watch, and if my old TV pal Fang had costarred as one of the pets, he would have bit both Jim and Steve in the ass.
Jim better hold on to that $20 million he recently got ($20 million! Can you believe it?) and get down on his knees every night to thank God. Because if he keeps making movies like this, one day God’s going to come to take that money back. F
Comedian Soupy Sales, who is celebrating his 50th year in show business, hosted The Soupy Sales Show from 1955 to 1967. He’s currently working on Camp Itchyfish, an upcoming PBS children’s program.