THE GOOD STUFF
Bless this man’s soul. If you are familiar in any way with the JACKASS crew, then you know this man’s face even though you may not know his name. In this film, he is the recipient (or victim) of the film’s most memorable and funny skits. Most of these skits involve…..um….. let’s just say….testing the maximum limits of the durability of the male scrotum.
To all of the men who watch this film, just know that the next unfortunate time that you accidentally get substantial impact in that area of your body, and you’re writing on the ground in substantial pain, please remember the plight of Mr. Mcghehey in this film. Understand there are men whose reproductive organs have survived much, MUCH, worse than whatever you’re going through.
Through three seasons of the television show and three very hard-rated R installments of the movie franchise, we’ve seen some undoubtedly creative ways to do the crazy things that these men have done. But here we are 20 years later, and even the creators of this show have understood that there’s only so much creativity that one can do when it comes to juvenile-style pranks. After all that time, what has been realized is that the human response to these ridiculous scenarios elicits just as many laughs as the stunts themselves.
Throughout this film, some scenarios and stunts can be described as run-of-the-mill kind of stuff when it comes to JACKASS (atomic wedgies, pranks on unsuspecting civilians, obese people jiggling in slow motion). But when you make the simple ideas more excessive (look for a stunt they called The Silence of the Lambs), the combination of shock, surprise, and watching the reaction of the victims (Ahem…I mean participants) can almost automatically force a laugh out of you – if you’re into that kind of thing.
THE BAD STUFF
The absence of Bam Margera
If you are a fan of this franchise, then you more than likely understand how important to the proceedings Margera in fact, was. He’s just as much of an idiosyncratic presence as Steve-O, Chris Pontius, or Knoxville himself. A large part of the JACKASS experience does not feel the same without his presence. His reactions to the wild things were just as animated as everyone else’s, and considering how much snakes are used in the stunts in this film, it would have been interesting to see how Margera would have reacted given his seemingly immeasurable fear of snakes.
THE UGLY STUFF
The Johnny Knoxville as Matador stunt.
I don’t feel it’s a spoiler alert in any way to inform you that there is a very noticeable lack of stunts from Johnny Knoxville in this film….and that is with GOOD reason.
If you have all seen the promotional material for this film, you will see Johnny Knoxville gored by a bull and flipped upside down in mid-air. It is a hell of a shot. It makes for a hell of a poster, and seeing it on something like a commercial can elicit a response, whether for the good or the bad. I get it.
It is another thing entirely to watch this stunt played out in real-time. Multiple media outlets reported the medical results resulting from this stunt, and to say the very least, it is INCREDIBLY F****** BRUTAL TO WATCH.
What the commercials do NOT show about the stunt is the EXTRA repetition that Knoxville did while in mid-air before emphatically crashing onto solid ground in a way that not only made a lady loudly yelp in the screening that I saw, that not only didn’t elicit a laugh from anybody in the packed theater that I saw this with, but this scene completely disrupts the rhythm of the movie when they cut to shots of the F****** PETRIFIED responses of the people who know and love him. Of course, you got to give it to Knoxville for being as fearless of a public figure as we’ve ever seen, but this here was ugly. And seeing him being carried off on the stretcher and still trying to crack jokes didn’t have the same feel as it once was when it was just a broken bone or limb that got pulled when he was in his late 20s. Its a twee different when he’s in his late 40s. (I didn’t mean to get on a soapbox there)
I’ve been a JACKASS fan for a very long time. And ultimately, this movie was almost everything I wanted it to be. At this point, if JACKASS is to continue, I hope it is with the new blood that they brought in for this one.
There is a timelessness that comes with something like JACKASS. And that is ultimately a good thing for the audience.
JACKASS FOREVER is in theatres now.