Ace Ventura: Pet Detective made Jim Carrey a movie star. After playing memorable characters on In Living Color, Carrey proved he could carry a movie as an absurd character for 90 minutes. Ace Ventura allowed him to do his hair up, wear loud Hawaiian shirts, make faces and talk with his butt cheeks. I major plot twist involved a trans character, so spoilers for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective follow and spoilers for its transphobia.
Ace feuded with police captain Lois Einhorn (Sean Young). When he discovered a disgraced Miami Dolphins kicker Ray Finkle with a grudge against Dan Marino, Ace discovered that Finkle had had a sex change to become Einhorn. Then Ace freaks out and vomits. Later, when Einhorn is revealed with a penis, the entire police force is grossed out.
Re-evaluating comedies often unearths uncomfortable facts, like the rape scenes in Sixteen Candles and Revenge of the Nerds. Critics have begun to call out Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as homophobic, and Joe Rogan called it transphobic on his podcast this year. Jim Carrey spoke with reporters of the Television Critics Association about season 2 of his Showtime series Kidding, and admitted he re-evaluates Ace Ventura too.
Ace Ventura was intended to be a homophobe
First of all, the joke was meant to be at Ace’s expense. He’s the one having an inappropriate reaction. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective does not endorse Ace Ventura’s view of trans women.
“It would probably be much different today,” Carrey said. “That was an honest completely homophobic reaction from that character. It was basically making fun of homophobia. It’s ridiculous. I’ve got a plunger on my face because I kissed a dude. It’s ridiculous.”
Jim Carrey would not do the Einhorn jokes in ‘Ace Ventura’ today
Carrey reprised the role of Ace Ventura in a sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. He has no plans for a third film, even though he returned to Dumb and Dumber after 20 years. He also says he’s grown since he was a young comedian in 1994.
“In this day and age, it probably would not be done the same way,” Carey said. “There’s a learning curve for all of us.”