Directed by Jeff Tremaine
Movie Review by Bill Gibron
Whether they're covered in filth, excrement, or any other bodily or environmental fluids, the Jackass gang always seem to be having a good time. Even as bones are broken, bladders are ruptured, and vital organs are destroyed, the friendship between Johnny Knoxville and his scatology-as-slapstick brothers in (fractured) arms -- Bam Margera, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy, Dave England, and Jason "Wee Man" Acuña -- is absolutely addictive. For their third feature-length film, these arrested adolescents have decided to delve into the cinematic "stunt" of 3D. While the new optical gimmick adds some interesting touches, the rest of the film is the same old Jackass antics -- and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Sure, it's lowbrow and loaded with bad taste. Yes, we see more vomit, feces, and male genitalia than a civilized society should ever have to. Granted, there are moments and certain skits (the "lewd Grandpa" bit, the sequence where Bam is, once again, terrorized by snakes) that drag a bit. And true, if you've seen Jackass: The Movie, Jackass Number Two, or the DVD outtakes effort Jackass 2.5, you've basically experienced everything these guys have to offer. But from the moment Knoxville sets up a giant foam hand to give several of his pals a face smashing "High Five", Jackass 3D delivers. It is one of the most consistently funny installments in the series, a testament to the universal humor to be found in men hitting each other in the groin, face, and butt.
Some of the best moments occur right at the beginning, when a pair of animated "guest stars" (think MTV and you'll guess the moronic metalheads featured) explain the 3D concept to viewers. Then the movie jumps right in with a stunning slow motion sequence that introduces the cast while making great use of the added optical splash. From then on, we witness Knoxville take on a bull and some buffalo, watch Margera use Krazy Glue and his hands to do a bit of "extreme" body hair waxing, and grimace as McGhehey gets a tooth pulled via...a Lamborghini. Longtime collaborator and director Jeff Tremaine always shows the group's various reactions. He wants to make sure we understand that, aside from the clear commercial aspect involved, the Jackass guys more or less put themselves at risk for their own mutual amusement and admiration.
Even Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen gets into the spirit of things, illustrating the beauty of a "Blind Side" tackle. More startling is a sequence where a jet engine is used to do everything from blow Dunn out of his chair to launching fruits and shoes at vulnerable England. "Wee Man" Acuna also gets a couple of classic sequences; a scene involving his overweight buddy Lacy, their naked torsos, and the aforementioned miracle adhesive is wicked. Of course, this is all incredibly stupid and exceptionally dangerous. The film fails to show actual injuries occurring, instead treating its talent like human cartoons. They're clearly capable of pain but seemingly happy to get hurt.
As Steve-O straps into a Porta-Potty, ready to revisit the memorable "Poo Cocktail" from the first season of the TV show (here called "Poo Cocktail Supreme"), we know it's "car wreck time" once again. While we will be disgusted and feel undignified by what we see, we just won't be able to avert our eyes. Nor should we. To do so would be to miss one of 2010 guiltiest, and most consistently uproarious, pleasures
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, John Taylor, Stephen 'Steve-O' , Chris Pontius