Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jackass 3D

For those wondering why there was no review last week, it's because I had placed the finishing touches on what is now this week's review, only to watch MS Word crash and delete everything when I tried to post it, and it's taken me this long to muster up the energy to rewrite it. Regardless, I should mention that I had originally intended to write a review of the first season of Walking Dead, only to find that I couldn't muster up the energy for it (for the record, it's a solid show so far, but hasn't really developed enough in the first six episodes for me to say for certain of its quality one way or the other), and wound up deciding to review Jackass 3D instead. I'm glad that I did too, because it was the funniest damn movie of last year, with the Jackass guys getting everything right that Todd Phillips got wrong with Due Date.

For those that are much more cultured than I, Jackass began as a show on MTV based around the likes of Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O and friends all getting together to perform a bunch of ridiculous stunts that mainly involved them hurting themselves in stupid, stupid ways. After a few seasons, I suppose they realized that it would be better for their health if they were to end the show and just do everything in movie format once every few years.

I admit, I was a tad bit disappointed with Jackass 2. While it was certainly funny, even just a couple months after watching it, the only bit I could remember was the four-way teeter totter in the middle of the rodeo. With this, however, I can absolutely affirm that the series is back on track, with a great many instances of incredibly stupid and dangerous stunts, such as when they test the theory that music can soothe the savage beast by going into a ram's pen armed with a tuba and trumpet, or when Knoxville decides to go rollerskating in the middle of some charging buffalo, or when they decide to see how well they can withstand the winds created by a jet plane. There's a notice in the end credits about how the ASPCA was around for several scenes to ensure no animals were harmed, though I have to assume they weren't there for the beehive tetherball.

Of course, there's also two segments that are a little more memorable than any in the previous two films. In one, they play a prank on Bam for his fear of snakes by letting him fall into a disguised pit and then dropping dozens of live snakes down in there with him, marking what might be the first time Bam has ever cried on camera. In the second, what's meant to be a bit of a goof involving Knoxville messing around with a bull almost leads to a very uncomfortable end to the series when the bull flips him around so that Knoxville lands hard right on his head, making sure to get in a kick to the head right as he's landing for good measure. It's the sort of fall that's designed to paralyze or kill a person, and while Knoxville was able to get up and awkwardly stagger away to safety, it's pretty telling that, while with most of the painful stunts in the film we get all the non-participants off to the sides laughing at their friends' pain, here they're all just immediately terrified that he might be crippled. It's a rather uncomfortable way to underpin the warnings at the beginning and ending of the film that viewers should never try any of these at home.

Now, having said all of this, should you watch this movie? All I can give you are the facts, and quite simply, I laughed more and harder during this film than at any other movie this past year. It's frequently disgusting and about as horribly offensive as any good-natured movie could be (I feel I have to put that in, because there are movies I find much more offensive in a rather mean-spirited, hateful way -- like Expelled, for a recently watched example), but if you can withstand watching several people vomiting one by one, or a man that goes bungee jumping inside a Port-A-Potty (with all that such a premise implies), then by all means, you should absolutely give this a view. Though please, don't try this at home, at least unless you have some solid friends that are ready to post it on Youtube even when you kill yourself.

Rating: *** 1/2

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