by Chauncey Telese
I was originally going to just mention in passing how much fun I had seeing “Jackass 3D” because there really is no point in reviewing it because it is what it is. Was I supposed to say “I think that Bam’s pranks on his parents are getting tiresome” (they’re not), or “Pontius abusing his d*** is no longer funny” (don’t worry it still is). I was going to see “Red” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and just do a double feature but then I realized something; “Jackass 3D” is that last experience of its kind.
The third film in the series based on the only reality show I ever enjoyed showed me something that we rarely get to see (and no I’m not referring to Wee Man getting into a staged bar fight with another small man and have a unit of small police and small EMTs enter the fray that’s a “Jackass” standard), I’m talking about the same sort of thing we see in sports where an iconic athlete (Jordan) or a hometown hero retires (Ripken Jr.).
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In this case people from my age bracket or a few years later or younger will witness the Jackass guys we’ve come to love after over a decade of abuse, practical jokes, and imbibing some nasty stuff for the sole purpose of making us laugh, are essentially calling it quits. That means no more party boy, no more shopping cart mayhem, no more Steve O self-mutilation, and no more Knoxville getting gored by bulls. “Jackass 3D” marks the end of an era because this is the last movie that you make sure you HAVE to see with your friends and see with a crowd because every groin shot or hard fall elicits a plethora of groans and laugh out loud moments. Last night marked the last time my friends and I will have that sort of theatrical experience again.
You may think I’m romanticizing “Jackass” Michael Scott style but I’m not, you see as my friends and I get older we are all going to be busy with our lives and, while I’ll still see them, we are going to get fewer and fewer opportunities to go out and enjoy the night. Last night was one of those nights. Wes, Andrew, Katie, Kelsey, Armando, Grant, Sina, Clay, and I made sure we attended the midnight showing and in Grant’s case he made sure he attended full of courage. By the way, when did we all agree that it’s okay to censor the title of a movie on the marquee and on the tickets? In 2002 when the first movie came out they would put “Jackass: The Movie” and it said the title on the ticket. In 2010 they censor the title and ticket (this also occurred with “Kick Ass”) yet they don’t bother censoring “Sex in the City 2” or “Inglorious Basterds” (I realize they get a pass because of the misspelling) but have we regressed so much that we need to put “Jacka** 3D”?
It’s 2010, when “Glee” is watched by millions (a lot of that group is comprised of kids) and that show is hardly for kids and the “Twilight” series is fueled by a teenage girl being in love with a dead guy. Are we really still offended by the word Jackass? C’mon America. Sorry about the rant – on to the movie.
So we get to the theater and because we were a large group, we had to find a row that would suit us. However, there was a couple that was very uncool and wouldn’t want to move down two seats because they wanted to be right in the middle. I mean really? C’mon the 3D doesn’t get any less enhanced by moving a whole two seats to the left does it? Well, that prompted us to do what is standard by people who are as mature as us we passive aggressively tried to annoy them. For instance, when either of them went to go get food we were reluctant to move our legs. Also Katie was in passive aggressive J-WOW/Snooki mode (by the way “South Park’s” Jersey themed episode this week was incredible), and Grant was constantly leaning over to tell Armando how much he loved him and how he’s sorry if he was acting like an idiot (like I said the man was full of courage) prompting Armando to move to the other end of our row leaving him to lean on me and essentially annoy the uncool couple next to me so I guess it was a plus.
Okay, well the movie started and the crowd was into it and saying dumb things during previews (a major pet peeve of mine but I’m in too good a mood to care) and during the “True Grit” trailer Katie and I argued about whether Matt Damon was too much of a p***y to play a cowboy (he’s not) and then after several more previews (including a new “Tron Legacy” preview which makes me wish December would come sooner), Beavis and Butthead show up on screen to talk to us about the movie being in 3D.
For me at least this was a major nerd moment as I grew up on Butthead (it started when I was in kindergarten) and it was cool that they bridged the gap between the two most controversial and two of the best shows in MTV history (I miss the days when they played videos and didn’t rely on reality TV but alas). So then in a segment that shows off the 3D with Knoxville, Steve O, Bam, Dunn, Danger Ehren, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Chris Pontius, and Wee Man getting hit in the face with various objects and the camera slo-mos it so we see how hard the hit was because the skin ripples. Then Knoxville says the trademark “Hi I’m Johnny Knoxville and welcome to Jackass” accompanied by the famous guitar riff.
Over the next hour and a half we were treated to the disgusting (the sweatsuit cocktail), the painful (the tee ball and electric avenue), random celebrity stunts (Jared Allen’s blindside and Josh Brown’s field goal), and other hilarious stunts. Then the credits roll and via a montage with “Memories” by Weezer, we see moments from 10 years ago when the show debuted plus childhood photos of the cast and crew. This to me signaled that the guys were done and watching them throughout the movie I saw why. The same way we look at Favre (who by the way should’ve claimed that his current indiscretions were part of a stunt called the Text Message) every time he takes a huge hit, its clear that all those years of being a warrior are catching up to him fast and the same is seen with the Jackass guys.
Knoxville and Steve O look like they’ve had a rough decade (Knoxville couldn’t quite conquer Hollywood and Steve O recently got healthy), Bam isn’t as interested as he once was (he gets softer every movie) and while the stunts were funny they didn’t go as balls out as they might’ve and I think age is a factor. I will miss the Jackass guys because they seemed like guys you would roll your eyes at in high school but in no way did you hate them.
All of their pranks are done to each other and are not mean-spirited, any time they involve the unsuspecting public they make sure that the Jackass guys are the only ones who suffer, and the random celebrities that they get to participate is almost unheard of (Brad Pitt agreeing to be kidnapped in public then later participating in a night monkeys stunt or Wee Man putting Shaq on his shoulders). Those guys always laughed no matter how many riot beads exploded on them or how many times Bam had to be with snakes (he’s deathly afraid of them), I will miss the random outfits they would wear during stunts, all of the bits with Knoxville as the dirty old man, Spike Jonze, Tony Hawk, Matt Hoffman, and Rip Taylor and other regular guests.
To think that a show that consisted of guys who were skateboarders, a guy who graduated from clown college, a stunt man, and others that made bootleg videos of themselves doing gross stunts managed to become a cash cow for MTV. In the era of YouTube, there are a plethora of imitators no one has been able to be as idiotic and likable at the same time. I, along with the rest of my generation wish the Jackass guys well and hope that they aren’t still trying to do outrageous things in some seedy Donkey Show tent in Tijuana.
Thank You for reading and stay tuned as I go to the “Hereafter” and experience some “Paranormal Activity 2”.
Remember you can see these and other fine films at your local Edwards.