Jackass 3D

Have you ever done anything that, in retrospect, was completely stupid? One of my earliest memories is pulling a chair up to our kitchen stove, standing on it and touching the pretty, red spiral on the top. Of course, what I got from this was burned fingers and the knowledge that touching a stove eye when it was on was a bad idea. A few years later, I decided to see what would happen if I touched the prongs of an electrical plug while it was still in the socket. It took just one shock for me to understand this was also a bad idea. Of course, I had the excuse of youth to explain these and other poor decisions. Once the lessons were learned, the actions weren’t repeated. There are those who don’t learn to make better choices or apparently choose to continue making very bad decisions. Such is the case with this week’s movie, “Jackass 3D.”

There’s no story, just a series of stunts, pranks and practical jokes featuring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Chris Pontius and the rest of the crew from the TV series and two previous movies. The stunts range from simple, mindless fun to mindlessly dangerous. There are also unsuspecting members of the public who are the targets of some of the group’s bits. Most of the stunts and pranks work, eliciting laughs from the crowd. There are some stunts that are so disgusting as to make members of the cast vomit and nearly lead to the same from the audience. It certainly isn’t the most intelligent movie I’ve ever seen, but I’ll have to say I enjoyed it a great deal.

The film doesn’t raise any serious questions and is one of the most what you see is what you get” movies I’ve ever seen; however, it does have one deeper implication: What will friends put up with from one another to be together? This question assumes all the players in “Jackass 3D” aren’t just in it for the paycheck. I’m not sure there’s enough money to make me hang around to perform such stunts as “Sweat Suit Cocktail” where a fat man is encased in plastic wrap and then exercises while his perspiration is collected then drunk. Yet this unappetizing libation is willingly consumed by Steve-O, who promptly throws it back up, along with everything else he had consumed that day. Why would anyone subject themselves to this kind of degradation? For that matter, why would anyone be willing to be slingshot down a plywood ramp while standing on a skateboard and flung off a jump into an inflatable pool that’s set up a little too close, leading to more than a few face plants into the ground? Why does the Jackass crew subject themselves to any of the painful, embarrassing, stupid, dangerous stunts? There’s really only one reason I can think of: These guys really like hanging out with each other. It seems like a stupid reason to allow yourself to be hit in the testicles or punched in the face or run over by a buffalo or stung by Africanized bees, but it’s the only thing that makes sense. Knoxville and the gang seem to thoroughly enjoy inflicting various punishments on each other and are more than willing to accept said punishment. It makes for a completely enjoyable, if disgusting, experience.

While the 3D is largely unnecessary, the movie does use one piece of technology that brings a unique perspective to the more violent stunts; high-speed cameras. The ultra slow motion views as bodies hit the ground and various objects impact various body parts shows just how much force these men, all now well into their 30’s, and a few now over 40, are absorbing. After seeing the high-speed footage, I’m certain there were more than a few concussions and broken bones.

The only problem I have with the film is the more disgusting segments where something is consumed that leads to vomiting. I’m not sure why these segments seem to be so popular when there are more stunts that were shot and used during the closing credits that could have been featured. Maybe there’s a real audience for regurgitation, but I’m not a member of that crowd.

“Jackass 3D” is rated R for male nudity, extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout and for language. There’s a great deal of male nudity, including full frontal, in the film. Nearly every stunt is dangerous to some degree. Other are disgusting and involve excrement or other nastiness. There’s also a set piece involving a poo volcano. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. Foul language is frequent and usually occurs just before or after impact.

It’s not art and it’s not subtle, but “Jackass 3D” is exactly what it appears to be; a big, messy boys club that delivers exactly what its fans want. And what the fans want is carnage, mayhem and most of all, hilarity.

“Jackass 3D” gets five guitars.

It’s almost Halloween and that means the supernatural thrillers are coming on strong. Vote for the next movie I see and review.

Paranormal Activity 2--In the sequel to last year's wildly successful supernatural thriller, a family is terrorized by spooky hauntings in their home.

Hereafter-- Clint Eastwood directs Matt Damon in a story about three people whose lives intersect in a search for truth about the afterlife.

Stan’s Choice--Stan sees and reviews any film currently in theatres.

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