Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (also known as Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls) is a 1995 American detective comedy film and the sequel to Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994). Jim Carrey reprises his role as the title character Ace Ventura, a detective who specializes in retrieval of tame and captive animals. Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, and Sophie Okonedo co-star. Tommy Davidson, who co-starred with Carrey on the show In Living Color, makes a cameo appearance in the film.
The film was written and directed by Carrey's close friend Steve Oedekerk, who had also collaborated in the production and as a character consultant for the first film.
In the Himalayas, after a failed rescue mission results in a raccoon falling to its death (a parody of Cliffhanger), Ace Ventura succumbs to severe depression and joins a Tibetan monastery. Once he has recovered, he is approached by Fulton Greenwall, a British correspondent working for a provincial consulate in the fictional African country of Nibia. Because Ace is a liability for the monastery, the Grand Abbot gives Ace excuses to justify his departure, and sends him off with Greenwall.
Greenwall is subjected to Ventura's questionable behavior when he starts mimicking different mating calls, and his reckless driving when they head off to Africa, warning him about the hostility of eastern lowland gorillas as it is mating season. Greenwall wants Ventura to find the Great White bat 'Shikaka', a sacred animal of the native Wachati tribe, which disappeared shortly after being offered as dowry of the Wachati Princess, who is set to wed the Wachootoo Prince in a marriage of state. After arriving in Nibia and meeting with consul Vincent Cadby, Ace begins his investigation, but must overcome his fear of bats in order to succeed.
Accompanied by his capuchin monkey, Spike, Ace begins his search for the missing bat. He eventually befriends the tribe's princess, who tries to seduce Ace. However, Ace admits his oath to clerical celibacy, but aggressively masturbates in a hut afterwards. Ace also befriends the tribal prince, Ouda, who assists Ace. Ace's investigation involves eliminating obvious suspects—animal traders, poachers, and a Safari park owner among others—and enduring the growing escalations of threat between the Wachati and the Wachootoo. After being attacked with drugged blow-darts, Ace suspects the medicine-man of the Wachootoo of taking the bat, as he strongly disapproves of the wedding. He travels to the Wachootoo tribal village, with Ouda translating the chief's words rather poorly. The Wachootoo mistake Ace as the "White Devil", and have him go through many painful and humiliating challenges to gain their trust. He eventually does when his pain makes the chief, entire tribe, and even Ouda laugh for the first time in years. Despite this, the Wachootoo declare that if the bat is not returned in time, they will declare war on the Wachati tribe. As a last joke, Ace is shot in the butt by a non-drugged blow-dart by the Chief. As he and Ouda walk back to the village, Ace realizes the dart he was shot with earlier is not the same as the one he was just shot with — meaning the Wachootoo didn't take Shikaka. He eventually finds two Australian poachers with the bat, and he distracts them by mimicking a Silverback mating call. Unfortunately, they don't fall for it and shoot the initial darts into him and take him away.
After coming to, Ace tries to figure out how the poachers are involved with the war between the tribes. Flummoxed by the case, Ace consults the Grand Abbot via astral projection. Advised by the Abbot, Ace deduces that Cadby has taken the bat, having planned to let the tribes destroy each other so that he can then take possession of the numerous bat caves containing guano to sell as fertilizer worth billions. When Ace confronts Cadby, he learns he was hired as Cadby's alibi, and is arrested by tribal security chief Hitu. Ace is helped to escape by an African elephant, and summons herds of jungle animals to destroy Cadby's house. Cadby tries to shoot Ace, but is stopped by Greenwall who punches him in the face. Cadby escapes with the bat in a car, but Ace follows him in a monster truck. Ace destroys Cadby's car, leaving the bat cage lodged in a tree.
Ace, despite his chronic fear of bats, courageously yet dramatically returns the bat just as the tribes are about to meet on the battlefield. Cadby, watching nearby, is discovered by Ouda. Ouda calls him the "White Devil" to give Ace more time, and Cadby is pursued by both tribes. After escaping, he encounters a female amorous silverback eastern lowland gorilla who appears to have mistaken him for a mate. The Princess is married to the Prince, who is revealed to be the man who humiliated Ace during one of the Wachootoo tribal challenges earlier. Moments later, it is discovered that the young bride is no longer a virgin, on Ace's account. Despite this, peace between the once-separate tribes is achieved when the two tribes join together and chase after Ace.
- Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura
- Ian McNeice as Fulton Greenwall
- Simon Callow as Vincent Cadby
- Maynard Eziashi as Prince Ouda
- Bob Gunton as Burton Quinn
- Damon Standifer as the Wachati Chief
- Sophie Okonedo as the Wachati Princess
- Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad as Ashram Monk aka The Grand Abbot
- Danny D. Daniels as Wachootoo Shaman
- Andrew Steel as Mick Katie
- Bruce Spence as Gahjii
- Adewale as Hitu
- Tommy Davidson as the Tiny Warrior/Wachootoo Prince
- Michael Reid McKay as the Skinny Husband (the Monopoly Guy)
Filming began under Tom DeCerchio, who later directed Celtic Pride (1996). Because of the success of the first film, Morgan Creek Productions gave lead-actor Jim Carrey the power to decide the director. In April 1995, Carrey had DeCerchio replaced with Steve Oedekerk, who had worked on the film's predecessor as a script consultant and wrote the screenplay for this film, but had no previous experience with directing feature films. Spike Jonze wanted to direct the film, but Carrey turned him down as he also had no experience but he mainly didn't know him well enough. Carrey claims this to be one of his biggest regrets. However, Carrey stated he doesn't regret enlisting Oedekerk to direct as they were friends with creative similarities, which included improvising, changing scenes during filming, and had a vast understanding of the main character. In June 1995, scenes were shot in South Carolina. The following month, filming took place outside Hondo, near San Antonio, Texas.
Part of the film was also shot in British Columbia, Canada. The film was shot in Super 35. Carrey was paid $10 million for his role due to Oedekerk's authority as director.
- Main article: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (soundtrack)
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released on November 10, 1995.
The film grossed $37,804,076 during its opening weekend, taking the #1 spot. In the U.S. and Canada, the film grossed $108.3 million, and in other territories, it grossed $104 million. The worldwide gross was $212.3 million. Against its $30 million budget, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was a major financial success.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 32% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Nature Calls in this Ace Ventura sequel, and it's answered by the law of diminishing returns." On Metacritic, the film received a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F.
1996 ASCAP Award
- Top Box Office Films – Robert Folk (Won)
1996 American Comedy Award
- Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) – Jim Carrey (Nominated)
1996 Kid's Choice Awards
- Favorite Movie – (Won)
- Favorite Movie Actor – Jim Carrey (Won)
1996 MTV Movie Awards
- Best Male Performance – Jim Carrey (Won)
- Best Comedic Performance – Jim Carrey (Won)
- Best Kiss – Jim Carrey and Sophie Okonedo (Nominated)
1996 Razzie Awards
- Worst Remake or Sequel – James G. Robinson (Nominated)
1996 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards
- Worst Picture – James G. Robinson (Nominated)
- Worst Actor – Jim Carrey (Nominated)
- Most Painfully Unfunny Comedy – James G. Robinson (Won)
- Worst Sequel – James G. Robinson (Won)
- The Sequel Nobody Was Clamoring For – James G. Robinson (Nominated)
- Script error at AllMovie
- Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls exclusive clip and still licensing at Visual Icon
- Script error at the TCM Movie Database
- Script error at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls on Wikipedia
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