Title: Jackass 3D
Director: Jeff Tremaine ... like it makes a difference.
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and the usual assortment of lunkheads with little to no sense of self-preservation.
Rating Using Random Objects Relevant to the Film: Three and-a-half out of five Porta-Johns.
Tagline: "THE STUNTS IN THIS MOVIE WERE PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONALS, SO NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR DUMB LITTLE BUDDIES SHOULD ATTEMPT ANYTHING FROM THIS MOVIE."
Better Tagline: "More dong than a Brett Favre text message."
Brief Synopsis: Aging reprobates subject themselves to felonious levels of abuse, probably for the last time.
Total Minutes of Onscreen Genitalia: Jesus, at least two. One segment is nothing more than a penis-eye view of Margera "ambush urinating" on people.
Pros: Frequently hilarious, provided you find copious (and we do mean "copious") amounts of feces, vomit, and shots to the groin funny; the return of Phil and April; graphic tooth pulling.
Cons: "Ambush urinating."
"Critical" Analysis: I don't really go to great lengths to defend Jackass anymore. Few delineations are as clear-cut as the one dividing what some people find funny and others find perplexing or, at worst, appalling. Do you like the Three Stooges? "Man Getting Hit By Football?" Pranks involving your victim's worst phobia? Chances are you'll like Jackass 3D.
Having said that, there's been a definite shift in tone since the last movie. Jackass Number Two was almost gleeful in its cruelty, with the cast plaintively begging for the franchise to end and a final scene (the gag within a gag about the terrorist and the cab driver) that could've so easily gone off the rails into actual violence it's hard to believe the "only" negative consequences of the show/movies so far have been some broken bones and concussions.
By comparison, Jackass 3D has an almost congenial vibe. Sure, Margera is once again victimized for his fear of snakes, and the paranoia level among everyone involved is so obvious you almost know what it's like to live in a totalitarian state, but the crew is older and softer (in more ways than one), and are enjoying themselves more knowing this is (most likely) their last hurrah. And while there are a handful of elaborate scenes -- the bungie Porta-John chief among them -- most of the gags could have come straight from the TV show, minus the nudity.
What's always been more amusing to me, whether you're talking about the show or the movies, is the process of trial-and-error that goes on. Witness the attempt to catapult a shopping cart into a pool, and the various adjustments involved. It's like MythBusters, except no one has a degree and in the end everybody farts on Adam.
I like Jackass, and I liked Jackass 3D all right, even if it seemed like the guys are really just going through the motions at this point. If it's not your bag, that's fine. But for those who insist on railing against it because of its perceived negative influence, I'll simply close with a quote from my review of the second movie:
I maintain that if you weren't singing the same tune when "America's Funniest Home Videos" came out - a show every bit as cruel but with the added bonus of using unwilling participants - you're without a leg to stand on here. Nobody's getting hurt on screen except those who bring it upon themselves, and better that than driving around shooting pellet guns at pedestrians or paying the homeless to beat each other up.
And the HOOOOOME OF THE BRAVE.
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Gag Factor: Depends on your tolerance for three-dimensional puke, and whether or not you think drinking a cup full of human sweat is a bad idea.
See It/Rent It/Skip It: See it. The 3-D adds a fair amount to the cinema experience. Whether that's a good or bad thing I leave up to you.
Jackass 3D is in theaters today. See it on an empty stomach.