Jackass: The Movie
December 7, 2003
The Jackass Boys are back! If you’re a fan of the MTV show, then you’ll know what this movie is all about; in fact you almost don’t need to read this review. Wait! I said almost! The stunts in this movie are weirder, wilder and more extreme than most of the stuff you’d see on the TV. The boys are pushing their bodies to the limit, inflicting severe pain and injury, and er…laughing all the way through it!
These guys are pretty unbelievable, for instance the opening scene, is all the guys in huge shopping cart (regular viewers of the show will know that shopping cart antics are one of the boys’ faves – one of the first stunts they did for the first ever show). This enormous shopping cart is surrounded by explosions, big music, and introduces the boys one by one, finally throwing them all out, into a fruit stall! The idea behind this, Knoxville says on commentary 1, is to try to fool the audience into thinking they’ve sold out and gone all ‘Hollywood’, but he does admit that it didn’t really work, “people just thought it was funny!” No? Really!
Stunts included in this film are Rent-A-Car Derby, where they basically rent a car then smash it up and then begin the fun when they return it, the muscle stimulator, where electronic stimulator pads are attached to various body parts (I don’t think you need the details!), ass kicked by girl (Ryan Dunn getting exactly what it says on the tin!), getting Bam’s mom to swear, and the pièce de résistance, the Butt X-ray, where Ryan ‘short straw’ Dunn, shoves a toy car up his backside, and then proceeds to get it X-rayed by a rather eccentric Cuban doctor.
The film is basically a collection of scene or skits all pasted together into a movie, in fact it’s the TV show, just and 80 minute TV show rather than a 30 minute one. The stunts are slightly more extreme but the guys say the really wanted to push the boundaries. What’s clear is that they had a lot of fun making the film, and that really helps your own enjoyment of the film. Plus, Johnny Knoxville is like an oversized 7 year old, who nearly kills himself with laughter whilst watching other people’s skits and you just can’t help laughing along (not so with his skit where they test ‘less lethal ammunition’ – check out the bruise – ouch!).
This DVD is also a mini-treasure trove. It boasts a commentary by the director (Jeff Tremaine), cinematographer (Dimitri Elyashkevich) and Johnny Knoxville (sadly Spike Jonze is missing), and the second commentary is the Jackass cast group commentary. The first commentary is entertaining, with reflections on the filming, how badly people got hurt (Ryan breaking his arm on the opening credits) and how some things just didn’t work, and wondering why they cut some things out, that were actually really funny. The second commentary with the entire group is just what you’d think, a load of guys together, laughing pretty much all the way through, and making snide remarks at each other!
Other features of the DVD include 27 minutes of additional footage, some of which you have to wonder why was cut out, it so funny. These include ‘the failed ending’, which whilst grand in plan, wasn’t really funny in the end, and puddle surfing in the Pacific Northwest i.e. Seattle, which really is quite funny and should have been in the movie!
There’s also some outtakes, where the stunts didn’t work how they should have, or where people fluffed their lines, like Ehren Mcghehey having to say ‘Hi, I’m Ehren Mcghehey and this is the mouse trap’ about 27 times, and Steve-O and Pontius fluffing their lines.
The TV spots are something to be watched, using Bam’s parents to advertise the film, with Bam beating up his unexpectedly. The cast and crew bios are not very informative, but very Jackass in creation, and the photo and poster gallery, whilst nothing special is still worth a look.
Finally, there’s also a making of the movie (as made by MTV) which is almost insightful into how they went about putting the movie together, what difficulties they experienced and the transition from hand held, home video style footage, to huge cameras which hardly anyone knew how to use, and proper film!
I found this film hilarious, but I think you need have to some element of a sick and twisted sense of humour, and must enjoy watching people getting hurt. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then steer well clear of this you won’t enjoy it.