By Thomas Gentile
No matter how many times Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew say they are going to retire, they always come back for yet another trip to pain-ville that manages to make you laugh and feel nauseous at the same time. Director Jeff Tremaine (Jackass series) brings back the guilty pleasure with a new twist — 3-D technology — but is this just more of the same old lovable Jackass movies?
Just like its predecessors and television spin-offs — Viva La Bam, Wild Boys and Bam’s Unholy Union — the pace of action is consistent. There is a surprise cameo from the first true jackasses of MTV, Beavis and Butt-Head, as they attempt to explain the 3-D technology. Fortunately, Jackass 3D features the same antics we love, but now it has managed to incorporate buffalos, excrement and other inappropriate objects flying at you.
This new technology isn’t used to help you feel like you are there or to help amplify beautiful scenery, but instead to make the already stomach-turning stunts become twice as disgusting and ridiculous, yet hysterical and addicting at the same time.
Now the true question: Would this movie be the same without 3-D? It most likely would be. There were great stunts, but only about 30 percent of them were “3-D-worthy.”
Speaking of disgusting, this installment really did crank up the raunchiness factor. The movie was still hilarious, but it’s surprising that it did not receive an NC-17 rating. The nauseating stunts are still at the same rank as their predecessors, but the addition of censored items, including graphic material, pushed the envelope even further.
Another big obstacle looming over this movie was whether the same self-mutilating stunts would still be funny after so many movies, television shows and television specials. Once again, the creative juices kept flowing and one could not help but laugh at the Jackass crew in pain.
One such scene illustrates the group running through an obstacle course dressed as prison inmates. However, the catch is that the course was covered with hanging taser guns and electric cattle prods. Another original segment shows the boys super gluing themselves together in various ways. Needless to say, there was a lot of screaming.
One of the scenes that received the best reaction from audiences was the giant hand-slap scene that was shown in the commercials. They would lead a member of the crew down a hallway and they would be violently hit by a gigantic hand. The infamous Bam Margera being hit by the flour-covered hand is still hysterical. But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Knoxville deviously asks for one of the crew members to bring a tray laden with bowls of soup down the hallway. You can use your imagination to figure out how that ended.
There were two problems with this film. In the second movie, they introduced a variety of skits involving bulls. They ranged from being hit by a bull straight on, to a seesaw game where they tried to avoid being hit. They brought these skits back over and over again and it seemed more like excess B-roll from the second movie rather than brand new material.
The other problem was more of a letdown. In the previous installments, there were numerous cameos from the likes of Three-6 Mafia and Tony Hawk. In these cameos, the stars were present in a few different stunts. This installment did have appearances by Eric Koston (pro-skater) and Matt Hoffman (BMX pro), but they were extremely short lived, each lasting a few seconds each.
However, there was one improvement to the movie. The soundtrack to this production is actually funny. For instance, during one skit, Knoxville is hit by several buffalos while wearing rollerskates. The truly funny part of the scene was a song by Roger Miller called, “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd.” Instead of the obscure metal music that is usually played in the series, the song choice for each stunt was well thought out to ensure even more laughs.
To sum up this highly anticipated movie, this is the same movie style we have seen over and over again. But honestly, isn’t that what the Jackass fans truly want? Generously, Jackass 3D delivers just that.