After the success of 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, actor Jim Carrey did the unthinkable: He returned for the 1995 sequel When Nature Calls. It’s no secret Carrey isn’t a fan of sequels, and it was his less-than-pleasant experience on When Nature Calls that soured the chances of further Ace Ventura sequels (or any other of Carrey’s movies for that matter) for nearly two decades afterwards. That being said, there was another film about the infamous pet detective released in 2009, which didn’t feature Carrey in the leading role, nor did it attract much attention from the general public either.
Directed by David Mickey Evans (The Sandlot), who also co-wrote the screenplay along with Jeffery Sank, Jason Heimberg, and Justin Heimberg, Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective didn’t receive a theatrical release or a huge marketing campaign as it dropped on Cartoon Network instead. Ironically, it also stars one of Carrey’s co-stars from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Josh Flitter, in the lead role here.
What is this movie even about?
Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective follows the adventures of the young Ace, the son of the infamous pet detective. He decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a super sleuth for pet crimes. After finding out that animals are disappearing in his town, he decides to uncover what’s going on and solve the mystery in the typical and strange Ventura way.
While Ace Jr.’s father doesn’t show up in the movie, his mother, Melissa Robinson (Ann Cusack), does, taking over the role of Courteney Cox in the first film. In addition, the late Ralph Waite plays Ace’s grandfather, Rex, here. Ultimately, this comedy film is a riff on all the adventures and shenanigans beforehand, as it treads the same territory and turns Ace Jr. into a mini version of his father.
Expectedly, the Ace Ventura sequel didn’t receive a lot of love from critics or the audience. Reviewer Brian Orndorf wrote: “Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective is a loathsome, exceedingly unfunny continuation of a once rewarding film series.”
Discussing the Ace Ventura sequel in 2019, Josh Flitter revealed a wealth of interesting information about it to The Good, The Bad, and The Sequel podcast. The actor discussed how there was a multi-film plan in place for his version of the character, which would have seen the audience watch him grow up over several movies. Yet, those plans didn’t exactly work out after the poor reception of the movie.
“I don’t want to say anything negative about the movie in the sense that the creation of the movie was still one of the most fun experiences I ever had,” he said. “And the director David Mickey Evans is one of my favourite people on the planet.”
He explained how he and Evans had spoken afterwards, expressing how pleased they were about the film they created despite the challenges presented during production.
In 2021, Morgan Creek – the rights holder of the franchise – confirmed plans for Ace Ventura 3, which would feature Sonic the Hedgehog writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller tackling the script. It’s good news for fans since Jim Carrey collaborated with both Casey and Miller on the Sonic sequels, so a relationship has been established, and Carrey has gone on record to reveal how much fun he had on these films. However, there is still no official confirmation Carrey will return to play the iconic pet detective, so everyone will need to hang ten and hope we will get to see him say, “Alrighty then,” one more time.