“Hi, I’m Johnny Knoxville, welcome to jackass!” – Johnny Knoxville
How do you review a jackass movie? Over 22 years ago this ridiculous premise premiered on MTV and pop culture was never the same again. It’s been two decades of stupidity. At this point you know what kind of content you’re getting with this franchise, now with jackass forever, the fourth film of a property that has no business thriving as well as it has. And you know something, I’m so happy it did. There’s something commendable about being completely upfront about the nature of your show when this is what you get and have done so for so long. They have never tried to hide or blunt the impact of something they know full well is pure absurdity. I mean that’s the goal, the dumber the better. The more outlandish and shocking the better. Simple enough but damn if it hasn’t outlasted the best of predictions.
With the first movie it was a shock to everyone that it was even happening, let alone made in the first place. And much like the show, it took off ushering in three more major releases, the third even shot in 3D with Phantom Camera technology. To say this whole thing has come a long way since the days of Knoxville jumping the L.A. river is somehow an understatement.
With the original it was a continuation of what they did on the television show. In the second film they fully realized the lack of parameters that an R rating allowed them. It was a dog off the leash sort of situation. And with a lack of supervision and a larger budget they heavily explored the realm of full frontal male nudity. They had the classic nature of a jackass episode but now with the added “bonus(?)” of swinging penis and ball sack. After that description it might sound weird but with each new movie they only got funnier and more enjoyable, if not far more horrendous and unforgivable. After the success of the second film was enjoyed, they eventually planned for a third, even bigger journey of so-called stunts.
Jackass 3d arrived four years later. Yes, 3d, and a whole lot of flopping peni(?). The third film is their opus to all things disgusting and painful. It is a ninety minute exercise in wondering how they all survived and or stayed out of jail. They went all out with the expectation that it would be the last. And for over a decade it was in fact the finale. The question followed the jackass crew for so long, “Will there be a fourth?” I think that question subsided a bit when tragedy struck as jackass alum Ryan Dunn was killed in a car accident just a year after the third movie. Still the question remained, however it was with a side of doubt as it was difficult to imagine jackass without their random hero. And now, after much doubt and life gone by, jackass forever is here to close out the final chapter of such a ridiculous but undoubtedly somehow heartwarming franchise. It feels weird calling something so crass heartwarming but as someone who grew up watching these idiots do idiotic things, to see them now with gray hair and families of their own, there’s something, dare I say beautiful, about the whole thing.
As each movie came out there was an obvious progression of bigger ideas and more disgusting, gross-out gags. With the fourth (I almost called it a film, how distinguished) movie they make a return to basics without completely losing that progression of nastiness that is penis mutilation and pig sperm showers. This movie is unbelievably disgusting but finds more of a balance with the old school approach of realizing that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes all they need is a piece of plywood and some (un)willing participants in over their heads. It feels like the perfect combination of the original and the new meeting in a horrifying mix that without question has literal shit and life changing injuries embedded deep within it.
The scale of this movie feels smaller and more intimate. It’s up to the audience to decide if they really want to get closer to a group who will eventually, without fail, pull out their genitals for no reason other than they find it funny. Seriously, some of the things in this movie feel downright illegal to watch, never mind actually participating in. I recall hearing once, not sure if it’s true, that if you watch a snuff film you are considered to some degree culpable; as if you took part somehow. That’s what it feels like at times watching jackass forever.
It’s such an odd feeling to say such things about a movie and then turn right around and say how much I enjoyed this, at times an appalling excuse for a movie. What can I say, I’m kind of fucked up. Sue me.
I’m happy and disgusted to say that the jackass crew are as jackass as ever. They haven’t lost a step. They haven’t lost the courage such actions take and they certainly haven’t lost any tough to counteract that dumb they so lovingly put on display for the entire planet to cringe over. Jackass forever features some of their most brutal stunts ever captured on camera and let me tell you, as someone who has watched them since their early days on MTV, there are moments in the fourth movie that will make you question existence when such things are taking place on the same earth you inhabit.
Like I said early on, this is a franchise you know going in, to a certain degree, what you’re in for. If you’re okay with that, if you love the other movies, jackass forever is a welcomed addition to such an odd history of content. It will make you squirm, it will make you cry with laughter and will gross you out to your very core and will apologize for none of it. I don’t know what it says about me that I enjoy these movies so much but I won’t deny my glee either. This is likely the final chapter and if it is they have certainly gone out with a bang… and concussions, and lacerations, and missing teeth, and severe PTSD.
I salute you, gentlemen. Thanks for the laughs over all these years. Dunn would be proud.
Rated R For: strong crude material and dangerous stunts, graphic nudity and language throughout
Runtime: 96 minutes
After Credits Scene: Extra footage throughout the credits.
Genre: Comedy, Action, Documentary
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man
Directed By: Jeff Tremaine
Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: N/A /Acting: N/A / Directing: 9/ Visuals: 9
OVERALL: 9 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes.
Check out the trailer below:
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