Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (also known as Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls) is a 1995 American 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. It was followed by a direct-to-video standalone sequel, Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective, in 2009 with involvement from neither Carrey nor Oedekerk.
In the Himalayas, after a failed rescue mission results in a raccoon falling to its death (a parody of Cliffhanger), Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey) has an emotional breakdown and joins a Tibetan monastery. Once he has recovered, he is approached by Fulton Greenwall (Ian McNeice), a British correspondent working for a provincial consulate in the fictional African country of Nibia. Because Ace's presence is troublesome to the monastery, the Grand Abbot gives Ace excuses to justify his departure, and sends him off with Greenwall.
Greenwall takes Ventura to Africa, warning him about the hostility of gorillas as it is mating season. Greenwall wants Ventura to find the Great White bat 'Shikaka', a sacred animal of the Wachati tribe, which disappeared shortly after being offered as dowry of the Wachati Princess (Sophie Okonedo), who is set to wed the Wachootoo Prince (Tommy Davidson) to form armistice and peace between the two people. After arriving in Nibia and meeting with consul Vincent Cadby (Simon Callow), Ace begins his investigation, but must overcome his intense 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 celibacy, but quietly masturbates in a hut afterwards. Ace also befriends the tribal prince, Ouda (Maynard Eziashi), who assists Ace. Ace's investigation involves eliminating obvious suspects—animal traders, poachers (Andrew Steel and Bruce Spence), and a Safari park owner (Bob Gunton) 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 dangerous 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, if the bat is not returned in time, the Wachootoo 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.
Confused by the case, Ace consults the Grand Abbot via astral projection. Advised by the Abbot, Ace deduces that 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 worth billions. When Ace confronts Cadby, he learns he was hired as Cadby's alibi, and is arrested by tribal security chief Hitu (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Ace calls an elephant to escape, 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, bravely 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 gorilla that mistakes him for a mate and is subsequently raped. 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, apparently on Ace's account. Despite this, peace between the once-separate tribes is achieved, when everyone joins together and furiously chases after Ace.
- Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura
- Ian McNeice as Fulton Greenwall
- Simon Callow as Vincent Cadby
- Maynard Eziashi as Ouda
- Bob Gunton as Burton Quinn
- Damon Standifer as the Wachati Chief
- Sophie Okonedo as the Wachati Princess
- Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad as Ashram Monk
- Danny D. Daniels as Wachootoo Shaman
- Andrew Steel as Mick Katie
- Bruce Spence as Gahjii
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Hitu(credited as Adewale)
- Tommy Davidson as the Tiny Warrior/Wachootoo Prince
- Michael Reid McKay as the Skinny Husband (the Monopoly Guy)
- Frank Welker as Animals' vocal effects (uncredited)
Filming began under Tom DeCerchio, who later directed Celtic Pride (1996).[better source needed] 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 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.
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 33% based on 24 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".
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)