I saw “Jackass 3D” on the same day that I saw “Paranormal Activity 2.” Believe it or not, these two films have a lot in common. Sure, one is a comedy (an extraordinarily painful one at that) while the other fits more comfortably into the horror genre. Still, the differences are only skin deep. Both movies have you going in and knowing that what you are about to watch will be unsettling and far more disturbing than you can guess. You keep waiting for something awful to happen, and you’re never sure if you can keep looking at the screen when it does. Long after leaving the theater, I still can’t figure out which one had a more visceral or unsettling impact on me.
“Jackass 3D” comes at the 10th anniversary of the franchise which started back in 2000. After watching the stunts performed here and then re-watching them in slow motion, it’s astonishing that all these guys have lasted as long as they have. I’ve watched several episodes of the show when it was on MTV, and I laughed so damn hard at some of the things they pulled off. For some bizarre reason though, I never got around to watching the first two movies perhaps because I listened a little too much to the warnings of friends, one who told me point blank that they had scenes that “no man should ever have to witness.” But with the latest one being in 3D, I got sick of listening to people giving me reasons not to see it.
So you don’t have to worry about me comparing this particular “Jackass” movie to the others which hopefully is a plus. It also gives me an incentive to take the time to watch the previous two, and on an empty stomach for sure. But just about everyone is back for this one: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy, Dave England, and Jason “Wee Man” Acuña. All are here to prove that after all these years, their sadomasochistic escapades are as painful as much as they are fun. It makes me wonder how these guys spend their time when they are not on camera. At least they have a sense of humor about their work.
Basically, it’s just like the TV show in that there’s no plot, just randomly placed stunts, some of which are beyond belief. I kept wondering (perhaps even hoping) that CGI effects were utilized because man they looked painful! There’s the High Five which has Knoxville body slamming unsuspecting cast and crew members with a giant plaster hand which is released at quite a high velocity. Then you have the game of tetherball where the ball is filled with Africanized bees, and neither guy there lasts long in that. We also get to watch Johnny Knoxville trying to catch a football and eventually getting slammed to the Astroturf by football player Jared Allen who has at least 20 pounds on Knoxville. And there are those stunts that need no explanation like the Lamborghini Tooth Pull…
With its use of slow motion, “Jackass 3D” is a hair-raising reminder of just how exquisitely painful those instant replays from football could be. Does anyone remember when Tim Krumrie got one of his legs snapped in half during the Super Bowl between the Bengals and the 49ers? Watching some of these guys landing on what looks like their necks inadvertently brought that to my attention.
But then there are the other stunts like the Sweatsuit Cocktail and the Poo Cocktail Supreme. Now these really need no explanation… But since I brought them up, I have to tell you that the Sweatsuit Cocktail almost literally made me hurl. It involved one of the Jackass crew exercising on one of those stationary bikes, and the sweat coming off his body was collected in one of those plastic Dixie cups. Guess what Steve-O did with that cup… Man I am glad I didn’t eat lunch before seeing this!
So what is different about this particular episode of Jackass? I guess it’s that everyone is sober this time. This was done to the benefit of Steve-O who went through some highly publicized substance abuse issues. When they started making “Jackass 3D,” he had been clean for two years. But seriously, if you were foolish enough to perform any stunts (please don’t), wouldn’t you want to be the least bit inebriated?
Not to worry though, those warnings of how these stunts are performed by professionals and that you should not attempt them on your own are on display at the beginning and the end of the movie. But really, why would you even think of doing any of them on your own? I’m not just talking about the Sweatsuit Cocktail, which I am fairly confident you will not tip the bartender for. Isn’t the whole point of enjoying “Jackass” in watching people do things you know you’re NOT supposed to be doing? Is there another show you can think of where people like Johnny Knoxville get off on such exquisite pain and still have a good laugh about it?
For me, the movie is a mixed bag in that there are a lot of insane moments you can’t help but combust in sheer laughter over, and then there are others where you have an immense urge to look away. But laughter does seem to win out for those willing to endure the more painful moments of “Jackass 3D,” and there are more of them than you might expect. Movies that make me laugh as hard as this one did cannot be easily dismissed.
Actually, the main difference about this particular “Jackass” is the fact that it was shot in 3D. This ends up giving the stunts more dimensions than anyone in the cast. Now pay attention: it was not reformatted into 3D, it was actually shot that way. The 3D effects here are actually very good in putting you right into the action, perhaps closer than you would ever be humanly comfortable. It’s not full of cheap 3D effects where things are just hurled at you on the big screen… That is, except for the dildo shot out of a cannon and made to look like it is flying around the world until it smashes into some guy’s head.
I also got to tell you, male full frontal nudity continues making a comeback long after its breakthrough in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” It’s not the first thing you would think of to hit a baseball with, but hey, this is “Jackass” for crying out loud! All the same, I probably shouldn’t go into too much detail over the Helicockter as it is as painful as it sounds. Then again, I would prefer it to that model town getting covered by a sudden explosion of excrement.
So anyway, you have been warned. “Jackass 3D” is by no means meant to be watched on a full stomach unless you wanna take bets over who’s going to purge first after your collective visit to the Cheesecake Factory. This one had me laughing like crazy, and I was on the edge of my seat every bit as much when I was watching “Paranormal Activity 2.” Perhaps it was even more terrifying than “Paranormal Activity 2.” Well, at least with those movies, you don’t see anything too disgusting being shown. With “Jackass 3D,” no detail is spared and nothing is left to the imagination (not completely anyway).
Once again, you have been warned…
*** out of ****