Should I Watch..? 'Jackass 3D'
What's the big deal?
Jackass 3D is a comedy documentary film released in 2010 and is the third film in the Jackass series. Released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the show's origins on MTV in 2000, the film sees the Jackass boys - Johnny Knoxville, Steve O, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Preston Lacy, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, Chris Pontius, Dave England and Ehren McGhehey - reunite to reshoot some of their previous stunts in 3D while also introducing some new and disgusting skits for our viewing pleasure. Despite the usual critical reaction to the film, it still went on to earn more than $171 million worldwide which makes it the most successful Jackass film so far. Due to the death of cast member Dunn in 2011, the film would be followed by a spin-off - Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa - in 2013.
What's it about?
After an introduction from Beavis and Butt-head, the film explains the 3D technology before launching its opening sequence - the Jackass boys getting hit by various objects in super-slow-motion. In essence, the film retains the same free-flowing style of the previous films - an assorted collection of dangerous stunts, painful pranks, shameless nudity and celebrity cameos with no story connecting them.
Highlights this time include a newly sober Steve-O enduring a ride into the sky in a portable toilet, Knoxville attempting to outwit several angry bulls with little success, a game of tether ball being played with a beehive and teeth being pulled out by a Lamborghini Murciélago. As before, nobody should attempt any of the stunts seen in the movie as they are extremely dangerous, very foolish and sometimes even catastrophic.
Jason "Wee Man" Acuña
"Danger Ehren" McGhehey
Main cast plus Spike Jonze, Loomis Fall, Barry Owen Smoler, The Dudesons, Dave Carnie, Mike Kassak, Madison Clapp, Knate Lee, Derek Freda, Trip Taylor, Sean Cliver, Dmitri Elyashkevich, JP Blackmon, Jeff Tremaine & Rick Kosick
Release Date (UK)
5th November, 2010
Action, Comedy, Documentary
What's to like?
Jackass is the cinematic equivalent of a popular beef extract spread here in the UK - you either love it or hate it. And while this third and final outing for the boys is unlikely to win over new fans, devotees of this unique brand of madness will find plenty to enjoy. In truth, the 3D doesn't add much to the mayhem that wasn't already there so this is the usual free-for-all buffet of bad taste that fans have come to know and love. What is unusual is that there seems to be more of a focus and clarity to the stunts performed, as though they weren't conceived in a beer-soaked haze (they weren't - this is the first sober Jackass outing due to Steve-O's sobriety and the gang supporting him). There's also a renewed sense of fraternity to the film, a pleasing sensation of being reunited with your doofus mates that you haven't seen in a while.
Knoxville, whose movie career has continued in the same vague direction it was after the first movie came out, is once again the ringleader and probably deserves the biggest plaudits for his series of increasingly brazen stand-offs with angry bulls. More than ever, he seems to be a playing a Looney Tunes-version of himself but like the second movie, every cast member gets their moment in the spotlight from Dave England's disgusting destruction of a set to Danger Ehren playing pin the tail on an actual donkey, whose dignity and future reproductive abilities are sorely tested. But much like Fast & Furious 7, the film is overshadowed by the untimely demise of one of its leading actors - Dunn's tragic and fatal car crash within a year of the film's release give his scenes an added poignancy, as strange as that seems considering his antics.
- The Lamborghini Tooth Pull stunt was originally filmed for Jackass Number Two but featured Bam's uncle Vincent Margera, also known as Don Vito. However, the stunt was cut from the film after Vincent's arrest for sexual assault in 2006 and reshot for this film instead with Ehren McGhehey.
- Not only was Knoxville hit in the face during the shoot by a flying dildo (knocking out one of his teeth) but frequent collaborator Loomis Fall suffered a broken clavicle. Margera suffered more than most - he broke three ribs, his shoulder and twisted his ankle during one stunt.
- The film is the first to not feature former CKY collaborators Brandon DiCamillo and Raab Himself. Himself (real name Chris Raab) would later form his own band Queef Attack while DiCamillo lost contact with friend Bam Margera after Bam's MTV show ended and became a professional gamer. At one point, DiCamillo held the World Record Highest Score in the arcade version of Mortal Kombat.
What's not to like?
The biggest issue with Jackass 3D isn't the gimmicky use of the technology which, if we're honest, was pretty much a gimmick anyway. No, by far the biggest issue is that of repetition. Even casual fans will have seen stuff like this copied and pasted by countless imitators on platforms like YouTube while long-time aficionados will easily spot stunts and pranks which have been done before in previous movies or TV shows. We've seen Knoxville playing with bulls before and the celebrity cameos do nothing to improve the film - Britney Spears' appearance in the Poo Cocktail Supreme stunt illustrates just how desperate both her and the Jackass crew are to cling on to their fading fame.
Like the other films, there are sequences which don't work as well as others - surprising Bam's poor parents April and Phil with a large (and obviously human) gorilla is not just reminiscent of the alligator scene from the first film but also seems purely for the amusement of Bam alone. The constant male nudity also feels off-putting (deliberately so, of course) but I can't help wondering why it's included in the film. It feels as though they are laughing at us for watching the film and our discomfort during some of the more unpleasant scenes. And call my cynical but I don't recall that feeling from either of the earlier films.
Should I watch it?
Difficult. Of course, the film is really only going to appeal to fans of the original show or the previous two films and I'm sure that's fine with the film-makers. But it isn't an improvement on the second film, more like a refinement. But the whole thing feels out of date and reminiscent of the early 2000's when it was just as divisive and generational as it is now. You either get Jackass or it turns you off completely and while Jackass 3D is unlikely to appeal to those unfamiliar with the formula, it's also unlikely to convince those loyal followers to hang around for much longer.
Great For: Jackass fans, stoners, immature audiences
Not So Great For: your grandparents, the clergy, anyone with weak stomachs
What else should I watch?
For those of you who find this sort of stuff funny, the best of the Jackass films is the second one which pushes the made-for-TV style of the first film into the long grass for big-budget sequences including a rocket-powered bike jump, a tandem bungee-jump between Preston and Wee Man, the anaconda ball pit and Johnny's big red rocket - a stunt which could have very nearly killed him. It's a far cry from the first film which feels like a collection of stunts from the TV series that weren't permitted for broadcast interspersed with the occasionally professional shooting of scenes. It's closer in tone to the show but when does this matter if the series or the films have no narrative?
MTV Films might not be the biggest producer of cinema but they have had some surprising successes in their short history. Election might have bombed at the box office but many critics cite it as one of the most politically insightful comedies of the 1990's as well as introducing director Alexander Payne to audiences. Zoolander is a wickedly sharp, if somewhat uneven, comedy that pokes fun at fashion through Ben Stiller's impossibly stupid male model while Blades Of Glory is possibly Will Ferrell's funniest film outside of the Anchorman movies. Lastly, for even more disgusting antics and gross-out humour, Dirty Sanchez: The Movie features one of the many groups inspired by the Jackass crew engaging in a world tour exploring the seven deadly sins by means of extreme self-harm and stunts. It's so extreme and grubby that you'll need a shower afterwards.
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