Ten years ago, a bunch of guys most people had never heard of premiered a show on MTV, doing idiotic stunts involving pain, humiliation and substance abuse. The show in question, Jackass inexplicably became a hit. As a junior in high school, I generally avoided the show, while my peers reveled in it. By the time the first movie version (promising ‘stuff you’d never see on tv’) came out in 2002, I was curious, catching a viewing on DVD. And if the show was made for nickels and dimes, the film was a runaway hit, grossing $64 million domestically against a $5 million budget. Despite initially dismissing the show as cretin fare, I was nonetheless amused by the first film.
By the time Jackass: Number Two came out four years later, people were still not satiated, with box office receipts demonstrating an impressive $72 million haul against a more than doubled budget of $11.5 million. The advantage that Number Two had was upping the ante on all levels in terms of stunts and gross-out gags, even employing black censor bars for the more graphic material despite being free from television restraints.
So with the full cast and crew returning for presumably the final film, where does one go from there? With 3D, of course. With the recent crop of films attempting to emulate Avatar’s success, it seems 3D is here to stay. Surprisingly the level of depth that 3D effect has on the latest Jackass is impressive from a technological standpoint, but it’s certainly not for all tastes. Audiences used to body piercing with large fish hooks and consumption of animal fluids will likely be disappointed by the considerably tamer nature of this third outing. But fear not, because the film’s participants will routinely vomit, drink shots of fresh perspiration and end up covered in feces.
Despite having the whole gang back, everyone does look noticeably aged, and their enthusiasm for the extreme nature of certain stunts (even recycled ones here) has waned, almost as though they are acknowledging their own maturation (physically at least). A very sober Steve-O sports an almost glazed look expression throughout, and one can tell it’s not quite like old times anymore. While there are a few winners like the grandfather/granddaughter skit, a hallway full of tasers/cattle prods and slow-motion heavy impacts, the overall effect is lessened when considering the range of sheer danger and idiocy associated with previous Jackass efforts. There are a few good gags involving athletes, but whenever actors like Seann William Scott make an appearance they contribute nothing to the guffaws. Even though the stunts here are still far from sane, they lack the once youthful, gung-ho glee that twinkled behind the eyes of Johnny Knoxville and his merry band.
FINAL GRADE: C
TRR Movie Revue by Jacob Aquino