ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE marks the ascendance of a new star in film farce, as Jim Carrey elevates this stupid, suprisingly shoddy picture into the comedy stratosphere, mainly thanks to his Gumby-like ability to contort his face and body in the most amazing ways. Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) is an alarmingly eccentric private eye who specializes in cases involving animals. He cares far more for wildlife than he does for social niceties, and women and varmints love him right back. Ventura's the perfect man for the job when the aquatic mascot of the Miami Dolphins is kidnapped, but the plot thickens when star quarterback Dan Marino vanishes as well. Only Ace can get back the mammals, win the girl (team employee Melissa, played by Courteney Cox), and evade the strangely obstructive cop Lt. Einhorn (Sean Young). One of the funniest films to emerge from Hollywood in the 90s, ACE VENTURA claimed huge audiences, despite dismissive reviews. Critics noted that every gag is carried much too far, as if daring the viewer not to laugh, but failed to account for the devoted following Carrey had cultivated with his sometimes grotesque clowning on TV's "In Living Color." Interestingly, Ace is not the typical movie goofball, smart aleck, or idiot savant; he's a genuine weirdo who happens to be stunningly competent at his job. The same can be said for the film's justly popular leading man.