Ace Ventura Pet Detective Jr.

Movie review by
Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
Ace Ventura Pet Detective Jr. Movie Poster Image
Funny, animal-loving kid lost in crude script.
  • PG
  • 2009
  • 93 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Good lessons on being true to yourself and caring for animals are muted by kids who are repeatedly disrespectful to authority figures.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A son lies to his mother but at least shows regret. Scenes of conspicuous consumption at a rich boy's birthday party aren't played as ironically as they should be, if the intent was to make fun of them. Poop and fart jokes (and displays) galore.

Violence & Scariness

Dream scene of a panda cub-napping may be intense for young kids. Repeated kicks by kids to adult crotches. Kids are chased by guards who run into poles, fall down, etc. Threatening school bullies chase a nerd but don't catch him.

Sexy Stuff

Adolescent flirtation between a lovesick tween and a classmate.

Language
Consumerism

Universal Studios theme park gets a major and distracting plug. Other recognizable brands include MySpace, TMobile, Heelies, CNN, Rolex, Exxon, and the CSI franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will probably enjoy the slapstick humor of this animal-centric film, but that farting and poop jokes may garner more laughs than the rest of the script. The hero's dad is dead, and the mom is put in jail during the movie, leaving only a quirky grandfather to watch over the boy (which he does only minimally.) Kids get away with breaking and entering, and repeatedly disrespect federal officers. There are some nice lessons about being who you are, even if that makes you stand out from the crowd. Compassion for animals is central to the plot.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybluebellblu February 3, 2011

funny

i watched this ages ago it's funny
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 1, 2010
This movie is mildly amusing and very annoying. The main character is adorable, but he gets lost in this poorly made film. Lots of fart and poop jokes as the re... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old September 1, 2009

........

HORRIBLE MOVIE ALERT
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010

Ace Ventura Pet Detective Jr.

Rated PG For Some Rude Humor

What's the story?

In this straight-to-DVD movie set 15 years after the last Ace Ventura film featuring Jim Carrey, Ace's son Ace Jr. (Josh Flitter) is following in Dad's footsteps, though doesn't quite realize it yet. His mother (Ann Cusack) works at a zoo and wants Ace to try to act "normal," but the 12-year old's passion for missing pets gets in the way. When Mom is arrested and jailed under suspicion of panda cub-napping, Ace Jr. recruits a few friends to help find the panda and prove his mother's innocence, getting a little advice on how to be true to his Ventura roots from his grandfather (Ralph Waite).

Is it any good?

For a movie that's nominally about being yourself, ACE JR. is a lot more appealing before Flitter starts channeling his inner Jim Carrey. As an overweight, awkward 6th grader who can't help helping animals, there's a real appeal to Flitter, as when he blurts "Oh my god you're pretty!" to a girl he likes and then claps his hands over his mouth in agonized embarrassment. Putting on his Ventura pants and coif may give him confidence, but it also makes him obnoxious. He is outplayed in that only by the school's token rich kid, Quentin Pennington Jr. whose bratty exclusiveness will be familiar to viewers of MTV's My Super Sweet 16.

For kids under seven, the subplots of both famous animals and family pets going missing alongside the aforementioned panda may get confusing. And there is a lot of very naughty behavior, like the destruction of a valuable dinosaur skeleton, that is brushed under the rug. This is OK for older animal lovers to see as long as there's some discussion of what behaviors are amplified for laughs and what would be acceptable in real life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ace Jr.'s devotion to helping animals.

  • How far do you think you would go to help a lost pet, and when does Ace cross a line that would put him in danger?

  • Do you think it's realistic that his classmates would be so angry at him because he offered to find their pets but didn't?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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