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Jim Carrey Movie Sequels Not Starring Jim Carrey, Ranked Worst To Best

He's agreed to appear in a couple of them over the years, but Jim Carrey is "not a crazy sequel guy." The rubber-faced comic shot to prominence with a series of energetic big-screen performances in the mid-'90s and was a well-established A-lister by the end of 2000, when his festive blockbuster How the Grinch Stole Christmas dominated the box office. The fact that we never saw a sequel to the Dr. Seuss adaptation is a little surprising, because history tells us that when a Jim Carrey film makes money, studios will often try to capitalize with a follow-up — which is exactly why the actor tends to steer clear. 

"I find sequels are a function of commerce for the most part," he said during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival (via SlashFilm). Carrey has reprised roles in two movie sequels (1995's Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and 2014's Dumb and Dumber, To), and neither fared particularly well. "They were characters I enjoyed doing, but I did find myself almost parroting myself at that point," he continued. "When you put 10 years between you and the last time you did it, suddenly you're going, 'How did I do that again?'"

There's no denying that Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Dumb and Dumber, To aren't great films, but they're practically Oscar-worthy when compared to some of the sequels that Carrey didn't star in. Here's every Jim Carrey movie sequel not starring Jim Carrey, ranked worst to best.

Son of the Mask (2005)

The worst Jim Carrey movie sequel not starring Jim Carrey (and perhaps the worst sequel to any film, ever), 2005's Son of the Mask bombed hard at the box office and took an absolute mauling from critics. This disastrous follow-up to 1994's The Mask stars Jamie Kennedy as Tim Avery, an aspiring animator whose life gets a sorely needed splash of color after his dog comes across the Mask of Loki. Tim dons the mask for a work party and becomes a hit with his boss, but he makes the mistake of not removing it before returning home to his wife that night — they conceive a son, and he's born with the powers of the mask. It's far from the greatest setup, but where Son of the Mask really falls short is in the execution.

Laughs are in short supply throughout this surprisingly expensive film (it had an $84 million budget, believe it or not) and Jamie Kennedy just isn't up to scratch. The sequel had the benefit of some recognizable faces (Alan Cumming, fresh off his role as Nightcrawler in the second X-Men movie, played Loki, while Bob Hoskins portrayed his dad, Odin), but they couldn't save it. In fact, there's only one man that could have — Son of the Mask is "Overly frantic, painfully unfunny, and sorely missing the presence of Jim Carrey," says Rotten Tomatoes, where it has a damning 6 percent rating. The movie pretty much killed Kennedy's career overnight.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)

Son of the Mask wasn't the first Jim Carrey-less sequel that New Line Cinema dreamed up in the early '00s. For some reason, the people that brought you Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy thought it would be a good idea to make a prequel to the Farrelly brothers film Dumb and Dumber, which raked in almost $250 million at the box office back in 1994. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd cost almost twice as much at $30 million, and (according to The Numbers) it didn't even manage to recoup that figure, never mind turn a profit. Why was it such a disaster?

The film follows teenage versions of Jim Carrey's Lloyd Christmas and Jeff Daniels' Harry Dunne, so the adult co-stars of the original were obviously out. Eric Christian Olsen was cast as the young Lloyd, while the role of young Harry went to Derek Richardson. They were a good fit, but the studio couldn't tempt the Farrelly brothers. "They came to us and asked, 'Do you want to make a prequel?' And we said, 'Absolutely not,'" Dumb and Dumber director and co-writer Peter Farrelly said (via ScreenCrush). "Because every 16-year-old is dumb. The idea is that these guys are 45 and they're idiots. That's what is interesting to us." That's clearly what was interesting to others, too. Troy Miller's '80s-set prequel was detested by critics and audiences alike at the time, and it hasn't exactly aged well, either.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. (2009)

To call 1994 a good year for Jim Carrey would be quite the understatement. In January he was just that guy who pulled funny faces on Fox sketch show In Living Color, but by December he was the biggest star in Hollywood, having fronted The Mask, Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, his breakthrough picture. Carrey's gross-out antics in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective divided critics, but the film went on to make over $100 million from a budget of just $12 million, making a sequel inevitable. Carrey agreed to reprise the role for 1995's Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, but, while the film doubled the original's box office haul, the majority of reviews trashed it. Carrey knew it was time to hang up Ventura's Hawaiian shirt, but the studio wasn't done with the character.

Intent on draining every last drop from its aging cash cow, Morgan Creek went down the prequel route in 2009 and brought in Josh Flitter as Ventura's son, Ace Jr. The young animal enthusiast is tasked with rescuing his mother, who has been wrongfully imprisoned for the theft of a rare panda. Flitter does what he can with the material, but Steve Oedekerk (writer of the first two films) is sorely missed. The watered-down comedy in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. is clearly aimed at kids, who may get a giggle or two from it. If you're old enough to be reading this, then avoid this sequel at all costs.

Evan Almighty (2007)

The best Jim Carrey movie sequel not starring Jim Carrey is 2007's Evan Almighty, though that's not really much of an accolade — the Steve Carell-led film sits comfortably in the top spot only because the standard of competition is so dire. Judged on its own merits, this sequel to the 2003 box office smash Bruce Almighty is a highly disappointing experience. Morgan Freeman reprised the role of God, Carrey's friend and regular collaborator Steve Oedekerk returned to pen the script, and director Tom Shadyac was back in the hot seat, so why didn't lightening strike twice? It failed to live up to the first film for a number of reasons (the Los Angeles Times claimed it was down to Carell not being a big enough star at the time), but the most obvious reason is that this sequel is all style and no substance.

Evan Almighty was the most expensive comedy ever made at the time of its release, costing a reported $250 million after marketing. A good chunk of that went to CGI, which had to be used in abundance throughout (it's a Noah's Ark story, after all, and real-life animals don't always play along), to the point of distraction. Special effects are supposed to complement a movie, but when the story doesn't suck you in, it feels like you're watching a VFX reel. Evan Almighty looked great, sure, but the studio played it far too safe with the comedy, leaving Carell with little to work with.