Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is the 1995 sequel to the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Jim Carrey reprises his role as the title character Ace Ventura, a detective who specializes in retrieval of tame or captive animals. This is the only sequel to a film starring Carrey in which Carrey reprised his role. Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, and Sophie Okonedo co-star; whereas Tommy Davidson, who co-starred with Carrey on the show In Living Color, makes a cameo appearance in the film.
It was written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, who had also collaborated in the making of the earlier movie; Tom Shadyac having left after shooting began. The film has developed a largecult following since its release. It was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective, in 2009.
After failing the rescue attempt of a raccoon in the Himalayas (a parody of Cliffhanger), Ace Ventura undergoes an emotional breakdown and joins a Tibetan monastery. There, he is approached by Fulton Greenwall, a British correspondent working for a provincial consulate in the fictional African country of Nibia. Because Ace's influence is disruptive to the monastery, the Grand Abbot gives Ace excuses by which to justify his departure, and sends him with Greenwall.
Thereafter, Greenwall asks Ventura to find the white bat 'Shikaka', a sacred animal of the Wachati tribe, which disappeared shortly after being offered as dowry of the Wachati Princess, who is set to wed the Wachootoo Prince to form armistice between the two people. Accompanied by his capuchin monkey, Spike, Ace travels to Africa to search for the missing bat.
After arriving in Namibia and meeting with consul Vincent Cadby, Ace begins investigating his case as well as the possible suspects; but must overcome his fear of bats in order to continuedoing so. He travels to the Wachati tribal village, where he learns that if the bat is not returned in time, the Wachootoo will declare war on the Wachati tribe. Thereafter much of Ace's activity 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. This proves difficult, and is made more so by other incidents including attempts to kill him, a series of gruelling tasks set by the Wachootoo, and the Wachati princess's attempts to seduce him.
Perplexed by the mystery, Ace consults the Grand Abbot via astral projection. Advised by the Abbot, Ace deduces that Vincent Cadby has taken the bat and hired Ace to divert suspicion from himself, 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. When Ace confronts Cadby with this knowledge he is arrested by tribal security chief Hitu; but calls an elephant to escape, and then summons herds of jungle animals to destroy Cadby's house. Cadby then tries to shoot Ace, but is thwarted by Greenwall who punches him in the face. Cadby escapes with the bat in a car, but Ace follows him in a Monster truck. In pursuit, Ace destroys Cadby's car, leaving the bat cage lodged in a tree while Cadby escapes.
Ace, despite his chiroptophobia, dramatically returns the bat to the tribes; and Cadby, watching nearby, is discovered by the Wachati Prince Ouda and pursued by both tribes, later to beraped by an amorous silverback gorilla. The Princess is married to the Prince, who is the champion wrestler Ace had to fight as one of the Wachootoo tribal challenges. Moments later, it is discovered that the young bride is no longer a virgin, apparently on Ace's account. Both tribes then pursue Ace, concluding the movie.
- Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura
- Ian McNeice as Fulton Greenwall
- Simon Callow as Vincent Cadby
- Maynard Eziashi as Ouda
- Bob Gunton as Burton Quinn
- Alan Calder as Shikaka Tribe Leader
- Sophie Okonedo as the Wachati Princess
- Arsenio "Sonny" Trinidad as Ashram Monk
- Danny D. Daniels as Wachootoo Witch Doctor
- Andrew Steel as Mick Katie
- Bruce Spence as Gahjii
- Tom Grunke as Derrick McCane
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Hitu
- Dev Kennedy as Dad Tourist
- Tommy Davidson as the Tiny Warrior
- Patti Tippo as Mom Tourist
- Michael Reid Mackay as Skinny Husband
- Frank Welker as Animals' vocal effects (uncredited)
When listing other words that start with "-sh" after hearing of the Shikaka, Ace includes "Shawshank Redemption". This may be a nod to actor Bob Gunton, as he appears in this film and The Shawshank Redemption.
When aired in syndication, there is an alternative version of the 'rhino scene' (wherein Ace must escape with difficulty from within a mechanical rhinoceros) in which Ace stands up after emerging from the rhino and shouts "Man was I lost!".
The UK release of the film features a number of cuts, equalling one minute and 35 seconds for the theatrical release, plus a further three seconds when re-classified for home video. These cut scenes include:
- Elements of the raccoon rescue attempt;
- Ace's comment of "Excuse me, your balls are showing. Bumblebee tuna!" to a crouching tribe member;
- Ace's snorting when displaying his affection to the chief;
- A scene wherein Greenwall catches Ace masturbating, made more explicit by Ace's shadow on the wall and some of Ace's speech;
- Some images of Ace prodding his eyeball while lecturing Quinn;
- A scene wherein after removing the apple core from one Wachootoo's throat, Ace then pushes a baby out of a pregnant Wachootoo woman; and
- During Ace's duel, the warrior stands on Ace and tears the spears from his legs.
During the 'projector scene', the U.K. version features Ace casting bird-like shadows with both hands, as opposed to the single hand in the original release.
This film was shot in Super 35, so the fullscreen version is open matte, and reveals more to the top and bottom of the screen (sections that were not actually intended to be seen); it also crops the sides.
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The film had an Opening weekend U.S. gross of $37,804,076, with a total U.S. box office gross of $108,360,063
Like its predecessor, the film received mainly mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a 33% Rotten rating based on 24 reviews. On the other hand, it was received quite well by the public getting a 60% out of 100. The film received similar reception on Metacritic, gaining a metascore of 45 among critics, while receiving an average user rating of 7.8 out of 10 on the same website.
- Top Box Office Films - Robert Folk (Won)
- Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) - Jim Carrey (Nominated)
- Favorite Movie - (Won)
- Favorite Movie Actor - Jim Carrey (Won)
- Best Male Performance - Jim Carrey (Won)
- Best Comedic Performance - Jim Carrey (Won)
- Best Kiss - Jim Carrey and Sophie Okonedo (Nominated)
- Worst Remake or Sequel - James G. Robinson (Nominated)