Jackass: The Movie

There are really only two ways of looking at this expanded version of the popular MTV reality series: Either it's really dumb but occasionally really funny, sort of a more violent version of "The Gong Show," or it's a sure harbinger of the End of Days and final proof that Americans have not acted as a great people. Beyond that, there's not much to tell,...read more

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Reviewed by Steve Simels
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There are really only two ways of looking at this expanded version of the popular MTV reality series: Either it's really dumb but occasionally really funny, sort of a more violent version of "The Gong Show," or it's a sure harbinger of the End of Days and final proof that Americans have not acted as a great people. Beyond that, there's not much to tell, except that the title is somewhat misleading. Granted, this showcase for extreme stunt work definitely opened in movie theaters around the country, but it's not technically what you'd call a movie — it's simply a longer version of what MTV dishes out on an episodic basis in the popular "Jackass" series. The term "production values" scarcely applies, since almost everything is shot on digital video in a style best described as bad home movie. For those unfamiliar with the show, it consists — as does the "movie" — of a seemingly endless succession of guerilla vignettes in which host Johnny Knoxville and his post-adolescent posse wander around staging various juvenile and often dangerous activities, most involving physical pain and what used to be called toilet humor. Occasionally they rise, if that's the word, to "Candid Camera"-style stunts, many of which revolve around the willingness of Knoxville compatriot Steve-O (whose enduring claim to fame is having stapled his scrotum to his thigh onstage in Houma, Louisiana) to make, yes, a jackass of himself in public. The film bears a stern disclaimer: "Warning: The stunts in this movie were performed by professionals, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should attempt anything from this movie." You wouldn't think people would have to be warned not to attach electrodes to their private parts, consume urine-soaked snow cones, defecate in home-supply store display toilets, pole-vault into walls, skateboard down handrails or insert a small toy cars where the sun doesn't shine. And you might wonder why Knoxville and his partners in prankery do all these things and more, but they do — and there's an eager audience for their vulgar tomfoolery. To give the trickster his due, Knoxville has a certain feral charm and the bit in which his crew members invade a bowling alley, strap themselves stomach down on skateboards and then propel themselves down-lane is actually pretty funny. The film's undisputed highlight, however, takes place in Japan; without giving too much away, we were pleasantly surprised to find that, yes, people prancing around in panda suits are every bit as intrinsically amusing as folks in gorilla suits.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: There are really only two ways of looking at this expanded version of the popular MTV reality series: Either it's really dumb but occasionally really funny, sort of a more violent version of "The Gong Show," or it's a sure harbinger of the End of Days and… (more)

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