If ever there was a pair of movies that didn’t need to be reviewed at all, it would be the Jackass movies. Why, you may ask? Because there is simply nothing to review: no story, no discernible acting, and certainly no artistic cinematography or anything of the like. Instead, critics often use films like this to write a soapbox review and declare, for the millionth time, that material such as Jackass is a precursor to the end of time or other such nonsense. That would be the cop-out, so instead of doing that I will address the moderate Jackass fan. To the fan boys: shoot that hate mail my way!
Jackass: Number Two is a film that we were once told would never happen. After all, head honcho Johnny Knoxville is a $10 million per picture star these days. But the film is here, and the gang has clearly upped the ante from 2002’s first film and obviously from the episodes on MTV. Knoxville and his crew, namely Bam “Right Guard Power Stripe” Margera and Steve-O, should probably have been killed doing some of the stunts on display here. It would be a sin to spoil any of these stunts, but I sat, often slack-jawed, at what these dudes were doing for our entertainment and accompanying cringing. The stunts are phenomenal and a blast to watch.
However, the gross-out humor is a major mixed bag and outstays its welcome by the halfway point – and the most disgusting skit is still yet to come. I’ve always had a strong stomach, but some of this stuff about had me running for the throne. That will undoubtedly serve as a ringing endorsement for some, but the problem is that it’s so over-the-top disgusting that it’s not funny at all. On top of that, since when does drinking horse semen take talent? All it takes is a marginally insane individual, and I think all the members of Jackass qualify there. More than anything, the gross-out humor serves as a distraction to the quality stunts. A running gag involving Spike Jonze as an elderly old woman who can’t keep her top on is hilarious and nearly saves the puke-inducing sections of the film.
Those who own the Jackass DVD’s and perhaps have even tried some of their own punishing stunts stand no chance of being disappointed. Moderate fans, like me, may find 90+ minutes of Jackass excessive and repetitive. There’s no debating the Jackass gang’s commitment to our amusement, but I find it more tolerable in thirty minute doses – with commercials.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Length: 95 Minutes
Rating: R for extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout, sexual content, nudity and language.
Theatrical Release: September 22, 2006
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Written by: Sean Cliver & Preston Lacy.
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, Ryan Dunn