Originally liked the first one most. As an adult, I find the sequel to be superior.
I found Ace 2 more inconsistant, with the worst elements of it being the lame recycling of old jokes and catchphrases from the first movie. Steve Odekirk had some great comedies, including his magnum opus, Kung Pow! which I have referenced in similar threads throughout the years. Maybe even in this one. He was largely uncredited for his work in the first Ace, but the second was kinda his baby. I wonder what happened to him? Maybe Kung Pow! killed his career. Haven't seen any of these movies in ages.
- Hm nvrmnd. I see he was still working up till 2013, but has since stopped. Maybe he just retired.
I've heard the name Steve Okekirk, but I wasn't familiar with him enough to know his filmography. I do love me some Ace Ventura 1 and 2 and Kung Pow (Betty...), so I will check out his imdb to see what else he's done!
Also, I agree with you that Ace 2 recycles a lot of the jokes from the first movie. I will add that it feels cornier in some areas like music and it just looks cheaper compared to the first one with regards to cinematography, setting, etc.
However, I will also say that the parts that weren't recycled really shined and set it apart from the first one. Specifically, the side characters stood out more. As a straight man to Carrey's Ventura, Ian McNiece was so funny and likable that he makes Courtney Cox's role seem blah even though she was adequate and had the hot factor.
And the dynamic of Ventura and people from other cultures (both the monks and the African tribes) was funnier/more interesting than his investigating the football team (to me at least...but I was never into sports so I see others disagreeing).
The mystery and story from the first was better (especially that end reveal), but in terms of making me laugh, the sequel was so over the top allowing Carrey to be so in his element, that I basically remember the entire movie when I start thinking about it. There are a few standout scenes in the original, but there's a lot I've forgotten and the scenes that I do remember don't make me laugh like the ones I remember from the sequel (the white devil scene, shikaka, Ventura spitting out a pile of sunflower seed shells onto McNeice's arm over the course of their flight lmao). Both were great though.