Rated R for male nudity, extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout, and for language.
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Wee Man, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Preston Lacy, Dave England
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
How do you review a movie like this? Jackass 3D doesn’t have a storyline, there’s no acting, there’s no sort of cohesion; it’s an 80 minute stunt show that either someone will find funny or someone will detest and point to it as the reason my generation isn’t as good as theirs. In all due honesty, I’m stuck but in my upcoming stream of consciousness rant, maybe I’ll stumble onto something so bear with me.
Jackass debuted in 2000 on MTV and went on to become a cultural phenomenon. I was 14 back then, and an impressionable youth so naturally I gobbled it up and naturally I tried to emulate it even though they told me not to (there’s video of me jumping off a trampoline into a thorn covered bush somewhere). Even though it had its critics, Johnny Knoxville and crew hit on something inherent in all of us: we are a voyeuristic species who love to watch people do things, and even more, watch them do stupid things. And there was no one better at it than these guys.
Then they made the transition to the big-screen. Essentially just full-length feature versions of their TV show, they were funny and they continued to make people roll with stunts that varied between the brutal, the disgusting, and the flat out funny. However, was it really worth the money? Regardless of seeing these stunts on a giant screen, you could just watch this stuff on TV for free, you know?
Now, with the advent of YouTube and Tosh.0, why would you go see the Jackass crew, now a decade older (but not wiser), do what you could just see normal people do on the Internet? Two reasons: 1) they are still better at it than the amateurs that plague the video sharing sites, and 2) the 3D. I’m still not completely on board with the 3D trend that is taking the multiplexes by storm; for everyAvatar, there’s twenty Clash of the Titans. Jackass 3D, however, is more of the former and uses the gimmicky nature of 3D to its fullest effect.
The added third dimension puts you right in the movie with Knoxville and his band of masochists. When Knoxville gets run down by buffalo, you’re there. When Chris Pontius dresses up as a gorilla to torture Bam Margera’s parents, you’re right in the room. You’re also right there for all the stuff you’d probably not want to be there for; namely, the vomiting, the pissing, the feces, and the penises. They are all there, in substantial amounts, and the gag reflexes you may have experienced in the other two films are heightened to the nth degree. And it…is…GLORIOUS. There are other touches too (paintballs flying from “behind” you come to mind) that add to the 3D experience and it’s one of the few 3D films that I have seen where I felt like it was actually worth the money; the technology wasn’t there just for a quick buck, it was used in tandem with the film. Leave it to freakin’ JACKASS to do 3D right.
The crew also uses a lot of slow mo in their stunts, and the results are brutal. A running gag is Bam Margera’s “Rocky”, where he throws water in someone’s face then punches them with a boxing glove. It’s slowed down to show the full impact and how the face contorts in reaction to the blow, and it makes what you just saw more brutal and in turn, waaaaay more funny. Working together with the 3D, Jackass 3D manages to be one of the more visually appealing movies I have seen in awhile and considering I watched Steve-O get covered in large amounts of shit while bungee jumping in a porto potty, that’s saying something.
Jackass 3D is one of the best 3D movies to date, and for fans of the series or of watching people hurt themselves in excruciating ways, this is going to be your bag, baby. The stunts are fun and brutal, although lacking a little in originality (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the bull thing at least 3493489434 times), and the pranks involving Knoxville’s elderly alter ego are the bee’s knees (see what I did there). If you hated the other ones, you’ll hate this just as much, but everyone else…enjoy yourselves. Sometimes watching people maim themselves is more appealing than watching your bank account and dreams dwindle.