Starring Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O,
Bam Margera and Wee Man
I’m not the smartest guy in the world (please, take a moment; I realize that statement officially rocked your world), but I always considered my sense of humor to be, well, sophisticated—somewhat dry and acerbic. I enjoy rapier wit.
There was a time when I believed I would prefer an evening of Oscar Wilde to an evening of guys in shopping carts crashing into the bushes. There were days when I looked down at the schlubs who laughed at garbage like “Two and a Half Men” and chuckled at the comedy stylings of Dane Cook. Yet I’ve learned over time that I am in no position to judge.
“Jackass 3D” is a fantastic evidence of just what a poorly refined sense of humor I have. I laughed at this movie from intro to exit. I laughed as I walked through the lobby. I even laughed a few times in my car on the way home. This is a seriously funny movie.
“Jackass” has never been much for concept. Perhaps that’s why 3D suited the cast so well. It’s been over 10 years since we first saw Johnny Knoxville and his crew of lovable lunatics performing all sorts of sick stunts and twisted sight gags. A hundred years ago, these guys would have been painted up in clown makeup and traveling with Barnum and Bailey. Now, they dance for us in the vivid world of 3D.
I’ve been hard on 3D—rightfully so. It’s a ridiculous marketing gimmick and crammed into so many films that I’ve lost count. Here, it just makes sense. With this technology, even the simplest sight gag becomes a marvel of sight, sound and motion. It felt like I was watching the most irresponsible works of Eadweard Muybridge—like when someone got splashed in the face with water before getting punched. In super slow motion, we can see that brutal point of impact: the ripples in the skin as the shockwave spreads across the face. If there’s beauty in pain, this is it—most importantly, it’s funny.
I didn’t laugh at all of the stunts in “Jackass.” There are a few gross-out moments that I could have lived without. I don’t know anyone who wants to see a bowel movement on camera. It’s apparently the one thing that doesn’t do anything for my funny bone. “Shit gags,” for lack of a better phrase, is apparently where my line is drawn and “Jackass 3D” did a great job of helping me find that line. Playing baseball with a penis as a bat, pulling a tooth with a Lamborghini, peeing on fellow cast members … none of that fazed me. Watching excrement exiting a pair of ass cheeks in slow motion made me throw up in my mouth.
“Jackass” works so well because of a talented cast of ne’er-do-wells. My favorite bits are the ones that get a little ridiculous, like seeing Knoxville dance around a muddy pen to a song about roller skates in the rodeo, while wearing roller skates. He prances around like a goof for about 30 seconds before some bulls are let loose and knock him for a loop. Take a little bit of goofy and pepper it with pugilism, and comedy gold is born.
Not everyone is going to like this. By now, most have probably been exposed to “Jackass” or the general concept of unrelenting brutality as comedy. I doubt there are many people buying a ticket to “Jackass 3D” and not knowing what to expect. It’s “The Three Stooges” without the narrative and the expectation that at some point Moe is going to try to take a shit on Larry. For those 90 minutes, I had no problem with that. I laughed until I could barely breathe.
Like the other “Jackass” movies, it successfully entertains but there is absolutely no need to see it again. I give the guys credit for committing to their craft. Most of them are are hovering around 40, and they’re still beating themselves silly. I don’t know how much more Knoxville, Steve-0, Bam Margera, Wee Man and the rest have to offer. “Jackass 3D” would be a nice bookend to the monstrosity they’ve created—the oldest form of comedy and the newest form of technology.
Jackass 3D | Movie Trailer