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Jackass 3D

tn_jackass3dThe first JACKASS movie was one of the weirder and more enjoyable crowd experiences I can remember. It was in a pretty small theater and the movie had been out for a while, but there was a decent sized audience, and more than any horror movie it seemed like we all went through some kind of torment together. We winced, we laughed uncomfortably, we even covered our eyes like Michael Jackson’s girlfriend in the “Thriller” video. It was such a good time I knew I had to see part 2 with an audience also. But for some reason I never made it. So I don’t really understand entirely what’s going on with these characters in part 3, I missed alot of stuff for sure.

mp_jackass3dBut I didn’t make the same mistake and miss the third one, because it’s in 3-D, and this is a movie where the two-dimensional video experience is just not gonna cut it. Technically this might be the best 3-D I’ve seen, maybe because it’s just shot straight up with hi-def digital 3-D cameras and doesn’t have to worry about a film look or special effects or anything. There was plenty of depth and not even a tiny bit of ghosting.

I think most of the same characters from part 1 are still there on the J.A.C.K.A.S.S. team. This time their missions include sneaking up and punching each other, supergluing themselves to each other, having a guy fart through a blow gun to fire a dart at a balloon hanging from another guy’s ass, bouncing off a giant inflatable balloon and everybody shoots at you with paintballs, throwing a bunch of things in front of a jet engine, etc. There is still alot of putrid bodily fluid humor, mostly involving shitting. One of the camera guys (credited onscreen as “Lance Bangs, documentarian”) spontaneously starts puking about 4 or 5 times, so he is the most relatable character. I had to avert my eyes during the sweat-drinking scene, and a lady in the theater I believe left to go throw up. But she came back for more.

Do you remember when you were a young man, and there was another dude, and you ran up and punched him real hard in the gut, and he groaned in pain and then laughed at how bad it hurt? JACKASS is the cinematic adaptation of that groan and laugh combo. This type of humor, all revolving around butts, dicks, and horrible pain, is thought of as little boy humor. But even most little boys are not this obsessed with farting on each other. It’s a very specialized, powerful strain of juvenile humor that’s hilarious and a little uncomfortable to see these increasingly grown adults giggling about.

There are a few prank type deals (Johnny Knoxville disguised as old man asks a random dude to take a picture of him making out with his supposed granddaughter, a pretty spectacular one involving little people in a bar brawl, etc.) This guy Bam Margera is always tormenting his parents, so in this one he has a (fake) gorilla trash their hotel room right when they get there and the dad is trying to take a shit. It might seem like you’d have to be really gullible to fall for that, but you gotta realize that this movie has the Jackasses facing down a ram, a bull, a herd of buffalo, an attack dog, some scorpions, a swarm of Africanized bees and a pit of snakes, all real. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they would fuck up and set a gorilla loose in a hotel.

But I’m glad they don’t do too many of the pranks, because they usually make me feel sorry for the people that get pranked. It’s better when the Jackasses turn on each other. They deserve each other.

One thing I really appreciate is that even though this is about dudes crashing things, throwing things at each other’s dicks and purposely causing animals to attack them it’s mostly done with an artist’s eye. I don’t think the audience demands that. Steve-O bungying up and down inside a shit-filled port-a-potty and then puking all over himself would be enough. But the Jackasses have this sense of visual camp humor and style that they always throw in there. They stage the stunt on a living room set or tie some balloons nearby for color. They like to go around in their tighty whiteys, sometimes topped with a silly uniform, a pair of angel wings or cheetah ears. When Johnny Knoxville jumps a jet ski onto land in the Hollywood Hills he does it in a powder-blue ’70s style tuxedo and Evil Kneivel American flag helmet with the others standing by wearing togas. When he gets run over by a buffalo herd he wears rollerskates and a pink cardigan with the Jackass logo stitched in the front. And for some reason there’s a disco ball and some cheap mylar decorating the bullpen. They create little scenes, like when they stage a miniature restaurant so a guy dressed as a waiter can be blasted by an actual jet engine.

This artistic eye works great with the 3-D. There is piss, vomit and shit that finds itself floating out of the screen, but more often it’s beautiful slow motion constellations of flying debris or colorful paintballs or things like that. I guess they have cameras that can shoot 1000 frames a second or something, so they make the human body seem to have the consistency of a can of cranberry sauce when it slides out all in one piece. There’s a whole bunch of slow motion shots of rubbery faces vibrating from the impact of a fist, a foot or a flying object, most impressively a rubber dildo that has just had a long, wobbly journey above miniature model cities.

The end credits are a montage of old clips and childhood photos set to a sentimental pop punk song with the Jackasses themselves singing “Memories / make me want to go back there, back there” over and over again. It really shows how they’ve grown up together and turned their weird shenanigans into fame and fortune. And I’m glad they all make it to the end alive. They have a weird camaraderie where they do horrible things to each other but then hug and tell each other they love them. The fat guy Preston even does this to the pro-football player who field goals his face, it’s his way of saying “Yes, I have been rolling around in the grass screaming in anguish for a few minutes, but don’t feel bad for doing what we asked you to do.” Steve-O expresses something similar to Preston after he finishes puking from drinking his ass sweat.

So there’s this sense of brotherhood but still, man, you don’t want to be a member of this brotherhood. Not only do you have to do these stunts (“Why do I have to be Steve-O?” Steve-O asks before allowing a baseball to be hit into his crotch) but you must live in constant fear of ambush. It can be as simple as somebody running up and hitting you in the face, as cruel as setting you up to fall into a trap door and then dumping real snakes on your head when snakes are your worst fear, or as gimmicky as sneaking up and peeing on you with a miniature camera providing a dick’s-eye-view. (In 3-D!)

The Jackass lifestyle must be kind of like being a rock star who’s in constant fear of roadside bombings and drive-by shit-throwings. On one hand you don’t have to punch a clock, on the other hand it’s hard to brush that taste out of your mouth.

I’d like to think they could retire after this one, stop risking their life and limb and after several years of night terrors and what not they might eventually lose the constant paranoia about snake and/or fart attacks. But then again, this is what they do. This is their form of expression. If you are a Jackass how are you gonna float around in a pool and drink mai-tais for the rest of your life? You’re gonna start thinking maybe I should jump a motorcycle off the roof. How many alligators do I need? I’ll put the camera over there. Here, let me get my pants off and find a good hat to wear… I’m not sure you can escape this life. But I wish them luck.

If you make another one, Jackasses, make sure nobody dies. Half the fun is being awed by the insane recklessness exhibited by the Jackasses. But it wouldn’t be as funny without knowing everything’s gonna be okay.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 4:01 am and is filed under Documentary, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

38 Responses to “Jackass 3D”

  1. Good that you mentioned the visible friendship between the Jackassers, because that’s what I always liked the most in this franchise. There were lots of copycats over the years, from DIRTY SANCHEZ to random kids on YouTube, but they all came across as dumb attention whores, who only kick each other in the balls for fame. But doesn’t matter what Knoxville & Co did to each other, it always felt like some good friends having fun.

    Anyway, I really wanted to watch this one as my first 3D movie of the new generation (because I didn’t find the time to see PIRANHA 3D), but I couldn’t find a theatre nearby that showed it in 3D AND as undubbed original version. While the TV show has always been shown with subtitles (and nobody complained), the movies were here always dubbed and although Germany is maybe the country with the most advanced dubbing in the world, replacing spontaneous reactions and unscripted dialogues with re-enactments from voice actors is just wrong and only hurts the atmosphere. So unfortunately I will wait for the DVD again.

  2. Also on topic of friends, pain and fun: There is nothing funnier than witnessing how your best friend accidently slaps himself in the face with a rubber dildo.

  3. Jackass > Idioterne

  4. Yeah I’m with CJ, there is something to those guys’ chemistry. They’ve mutilated and pranked each other for over a decade, hell some even longer if you read into the origins of JACKASS from the CKY days or Knoxville’s self-defense testing tape, etc.

    I mean are the stunts all that funny, or many of them “hilarious” because those hyenas have an infectious collective laugh?

    Anyway I hope this is the last JACKASS endeavor because besides the dudes nearing 40 (who wants them to be the Rolling Stones of stunts/pranks?), a good portion of JA 3-D felt derivative and repetitive of their previous television work and Jackass #2.

    They’re out of gas, and the fact is maybe the very YouTubian Culture those fuckers helped spawn and inspire have outpaced them? Just a thought.

    That said, I had a very good time with JA3-D. My favorite sketch? The disgustingly wicked yet compelling “Volcano.”

    Followed by super glue to the crotch.

  5. One Guy From Andromeda

    November 15th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    the scariest thing about this is seeing knoxville’s face. that man grows more and more monstrous by the years.

  6. Jonny Knoxville looks ravaged these days. Is it all the jackassing or is he ill?

  7. Ace Mac Ashbrook – Considering all that abuse his body has taken for our amusement (and the money), including somehow escaping death more than once, I think he’s happy to have the Mickey Rourke* aging going on instead of crippled or dead.

    I like that at one of the JA3-D promotional junket things, Knoxville says he’s pissed whenever people bring up how he hasn’t aged well, especially the new kids who’re catching JACKASS reruns on late night M2 (or MTV’s graveyard) and then look at him now.

    Off-topic, but best JACKASS TV sketch has to be a tie between the Diaper Eating or the Bloody Windshield.

    *=Or as VENTURE BROS. put it by the Monarch, “His face looks like a cobbler worked on him.”

  8. Bah. Back when I was a kid we had our Jerky Boys. We didn’t need these high-fallutin’ moving pictures.

    Just kidding.

  9. I mentioned this in another thread, but JACKASS 3D was the worst crowd experience I’ve ever suffered through. These Jersey Shore morons did nothing but shout homophobic, anti-semitic, and gynophobic insults at each other for the entire duration of the movie. I think they missed the fact that the JACKASS boys are about as gay-friendly as a bunch of straight guys can be. They’re totally comfortable with each other’s genitals and even have a rainbow as their logo to show that they don’t give a fuck if you think they look gay.

    What I love about the Jackasses is that as adolescent as their humor is, it never comes down to frat-boy meanness, unlike those assholes in the audience. No matter how famous they get, they’re still all misfit skaters who found a family in each other, and that warmth comes through no matter what disgusting thing they’re doing. I always get all melancholy when the movies end because I start getting nostalgic for a wasted youth I’m not sure I ever had. I come for the bruised scrotums, but I stay for the heart.

  10. Jareth – I like how somehow Hollywood thought they could make a movie around prank calling.

  11. Mr. Majestyk is a poet. For serious.

  12. I’m sure there already was a Jerky Boys movie, in which they accidently prank called a mobster and now had to run from him.

    Also about Jackass’s pro-gayness: John Waters once called their show “the gayest thing on TV” and what did Knoxville & co do? They gave him a guest spot in their 2nd movie. You gotta love these guys. I’m sure John Waters will never be on JERSEY SHORE (and not just because I’m sure these kids don’t even know him).

  13. BTW, did anyone ever followed the post-Jackass projects of these guys? VIVA LA BAM was pretty amusing for a while, but only because of his parents’ reactions, whenever he destroyed their home. And there was a very nice moment, when Johnny Knoxville came over for a few days, and Mama Margera immediately gave him a hug and was happy to see him again. (One more proof that these guys must be pretty nice.)
    And then there was WILD BOYZ, where Steve-O (my least favourite Jackass, btw, because he’s usually the guy who goes too far) and another guy traveled around the world, to do stupid things with dangerous animals. That was not so interesting IMO, except for one moment where Steve-O impressed a tribe of natives somewhere in the jungle with his sharp-knive-in-chin-balancing skills and other death-defying stunts.

    So all in all I can say that the JACKASS crew is the most fun when they are all together.

  14. I’m with Majestyk — the best thing about Jackass is how they’re not trying to hurt anybody but themselves (and each other).

  15. They’ve already made the next one! It will supposedly come out next year. They shot enough footage for two movies and originally it was going on the DVD release but now the studio smells bigger dollars as a complete fourth movie. http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/10/19/jackass-3d-sequel/

  16. CJ – I followed the spin-offs here and there, but never consistently. I did however catch that infamous NITRO CIRCUS epsiode where guest-star Knoxville literally broke his dick. Here it is, replayed on Jimmy Kimmel. Notice where the handlebars land.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dto1ngtifr0&feature=related

    I think the simple problem can be explained by using a classical example. After the break-up, all The Beatles made good solo music, some good records. Some even classics on their own regard. But were they musically as good and balanced as they were when they were together?

    As for Steve-O, going too far is the story of his life. You can usually count on him to do stuff that 99.9% other men on the planet refuse to even think about, much less execute. Hes like that college buddy who knows what shit he does is stupid, but he does it anyway because hey who’ll try to drink a whole carton of milk in one chug without puking?

    I mean jesus the worst most infamous thing he did was before joining JACKASS, and that was “The Butterfly” where he stapled his scrotum to his legs. And no, I never watched that tape.

    Newbs – What about that poor shark that Steve-O kicked in the head?

  17. One thing I meant to mention but forgot is what a pretentious person would call the “Greek Chorus” of the other Jackasses in alot of the stunts. For example when Steve-O and whichever other one are getting attacked by a ram everybody else is lined up on the other side of the fence so you can watch them watching. And that’s part of the enjoyment is seeing their enjoyment, and their relief that they get to sit this one out and just laugh at it.

    Also there’s that thing you see over and over again where they’re concerned and ready to help the person up and make sure they’re okay but also can’t hold back laughter.

    CJ, you bring up an interesting problem with 3-D movies. A documentary of course would be even worse dubbed than a regular movie, but it seems to me like it would be hard on the eyes to watch a movie in 3-D and also keep reading subtitles. I mean, what depth would the words be at? Foreground? Middle? I’m sure they could find a way to make it not whiplash your eyes as bad as those opening credits on PIRANHA 3D, but they’d probly have to have the credits move around to different depths near what your eyes are supposed to focus on.

    This never occurred to me until hoping for a 3-D release of TRUE LEGEND (before I found out that the 3-D in it was apparently not good). But if 3-D really becomes more than a gimmick it might cause problems with American movies being shown around the world and vice versa.

    How do they do it in your countries, fellas? Was AVATAR or anything released subtitled and 3-D at the same time? Has anybody seen a subtitled 3-D movie and was it okay?

  18. RRA: It could lead to a terrible misunderstanding if Alan Arkin isn’t careful to ennuciate the words “jerky boys” properly when he confesses his sins to his priest.

    Majestyk: If the “wasted youth” you did not have included taking a shit in a display toilet in a hardware store, I can’t help but think you made the right choices. Unless the toilet in question was in Queens.

  19. To my knowledge, all the toilets I’ve dumped in have been connected to plumbing. But I’ve also taken surprisingly few punches to the face from close friends, which I’m starting to think is a character flaw.

  20. I actually saw AVATAR with subtitles! Not because I don’t speak the lingo, but because the closed captioned screening was the only showing a friend and I could get into. It was OK I guess, they seemed pretty big though.

  21. I saw Avatar on a really big screen in Denmark, and I was close to the screen. The subtitles were placed at the same depth as your focus point in the film. And usually where you were looking. So if a person was moving towards a door to the right, the subtitles would be slightly ahead of that person at focus-depth in the film.

    Sometimes they fucked up, like during narration, and you were forced to literally focus out to screen depth, read, and then focus back, before you could keep up with what was going on.

  22. CJ, you really need to see this film in 3D the way it was intended. I am sure the dubbing issue may detract from your viewing experience a little bit, but there is no way this movie plays as well at home on DVD as it does in 3D.

  23. I saw Avatar in 3D and it’s the reason why I still don’t trust the technology . The screening was OK for the first 40 minutes , but the movie was in and out of focus , and also “flickering” , for the rest of the movie . Considering the fact that it’s almost 3 hours long , I was pretty pissed ( and , yes , I changed the glasses , and I was not the only one with problems ) . Now if a movie is both 3d and regular , I always choose regular because , hey , at least I’m watching the damn movie ! But to be completely honest , I never had problems with the subtitles in that screening , both before and after the 3D died, they were in the foreground and always OK.

  24. The subtitles in Avatar didn’t translate Sam Worthington’s Aussie/Yankee gibber.

  25. What I always found funny about JACKASS was the Don’t Try This At Home disclaimer that described Knoxville and Co. as trained professionals. How so? Steve O was in the circus, she him, yeah, probably, but what makes the rest of them professionals?

  26. They’re all skateboarders and stuntmen, so finding large things to jump off of and ram into is kind of their day jobs. Also, the JACKASS team is constantly surronded by medical personel and emergency equipment so if something fucks up there’s some kind of safety net at least, as opposed to 12 year olds snapping their ankles riding shopping carts through abandoned parking lots.

  27. I was kind of disappointed with this one. Only about half of it was in 3-D and everyone seems to be a little to scared. RRA is right. They’re running on fumes at this point. I enjoyed it but unless they can come up with a way to make the next one in smell-o-vision I hope this is the end.

  28. Steve-O drinking the ass sweat was the one scene I had to look away from too. Made worse by the guy next to me who started puke-gagging. Steve-O always has the scenes that get to me on a primal level. I couldn’t watch him put a leech in his eyeball in NUMBER TWO either. That was worse than any horror movie I’ve ever seen.

  29. Vern – So does this mean that you’ll see HEREAFTER now and review it?

    Because what would CLINT think of this? The rag, not the guy. I doubt the guy even uses or even understands the Interwebs.

  30. CallMeKermiT, one of the issues with the new 3D technology is it is subject to the quality and calibration of the setup of the theater you see it at. I saw Avatar in 3D Imax and it looked great, and had none of the issues you mentioned. If you are going to see a 3D movie I would recommend seeing it in a newer theater and/or a theater that you know gives a shit about the movie going experience, or you may encounter some of the issues you mentioned.

  31. Agree–Awesome 3-D. However, if the movie was always in regular motion (not slo-motion)
    I swear to God it would have been 30 minutes long.

  32. Charles : That’s true , it’s often a calibration problem. But I’m still waiting for the technology to grow a little bit , to become “calibration-proof ” . And since , I suppose , the technical side of making-it-work , this calibration , is handled by humans , I’m still waiting for the technology to become “moron-proof “. Yes , I will try to find a big 3D cinema that gives a shit about movie going experience , but in reality , it’s kind of the oppsite , no? It’s the big , business oriented theatre that is more likely to have 3D tech and to show 3D movies , not the little , classic , tried and true , movie-loving theatre .
    All the problems I have with 3D , from Bloody Valentine to Avatar , are related to big cinema chains.

  33. CallMeKermiT, you are right. That is why I said you would need to find a newer theater and/or a theater that you know gives a shit about the movie going experience. I have seen 3D films at the local Imax, the new major chain cinaplex near my house, and the south Austin Alamo Draft House which had their projectors calibrated by James Cameron’s people and the experience was good at all three. However, I know other people that have experienced the same issues you mentioned.

  34. Charles : The tech will eventually get to the point of all-around-reliability , but I’m in no hurry to experience this post Avatar 3D renaissance , since I consider it kind of a passing thing ( well , a passing thing that will drive this particular tech a little bit more into the future ).It’s like motion-sensing-technology in videogames : Nintendo sort of made it work with the damn WII , now Microsoft and Sony are jumping on the bandwagon . And what do you know ? Now it’s Nintendo jumping on the 3D bandwagon with the 3DS !

    Don’t get me wrong , I enjoyed the occasional red-blue old school 3D screening from time to time ( you know , the 3D that works when you’re not directly looking at the screen!) , but I think I will wait both for 3D cinemas to evolve a little bit , and for 3D TV to evolve a little bit more. Man , I really don’t understand how can you spend so much money , right now , on a 3D TV set !!!

  35. Vern, you really should see Jackass #2. It’s the most artistic, really a masterpiece.

  36. Who are these spambots with not quite correct English promising to bookmark your site?

  37. Am I the only one ’round these parts who saw Bad Grandpa over the weekend and wished Knoxville & Crew had done another Jackass movie instead? Bad Grandpa was OK, but as I watched it a part of my funnybone yearned for the scattershot narrative and collective insanity that made at least the first Jackass movie so endearingly/stupidly funny.

    Now, as I sit watching Johnny Knoxville’s finest cinematic achievement The Ringer on TV….. that outside-the-box thunderclap that occasionally crashes through my gray matter just struck again. Work with me here:

    The Ringer 2: Save The Prez

    So, Johnny Knoxville’s character is now happily married to Katherine Heigl, they live in the suburbs, have two lil’ adorable rugrats, blah blah. All good in the white bread ‘hood. But one day on his drive home from work, Knoxville has a terrible car accident, goes into a coma, then awakens after 2-3 weeks….. with brain damage, and he’s no longer Steve Barker, he’s Jeffy Dahmer for reals. Oh fortune, how you’ve mocked him! Yes, he’s now an actual retard….. shit happens, you gotta roll with it, Tai Chi, etc., etc.

    His wife and kids cope with it as best they can, but (and here’s where it goes wonky, and I can’t quite piece together the turn of events that lead to it) he accidently stumbles upon a plot to kill the U.S. President. But when he tries to contact the authorities and sound the warning bell, no one’s buying it….. because he’s a full-on ‘tard.

    As far as story structure is concerned, that’s all I’ve got. But in terms of casting? Away we go:

    Brian Cox reprises his role from the first Ringer, but he’s no longer just the cigar-chomping, gambling junkie uncle….. he’s the CIA spook he’s been all along. Very similar to his role in the first two Bourne movies, but kind of straddling the line between funny Cox and sleazy/shifty Cox (you know how he is).

    The posse of retards who at first rejected then embraced Steve/Jeffy from the first movie are all back. As before, they’re equal parts help and hindrance. Maybe one of them dies in a tragic Snow Cone asphyxiation accident at some point, and maybe not.

    Jason “Wee Man” Acuna and Preston Lacy appear as Secret Service agents. Obvious irony, I know, but that’s the point.

    Bam Margera plays the White House Chief Of Staff. Too smarmy for any other role, plus I doubt Tony Goldwyn is available.

    Steve-O and Chris Pontius make the scene as befuddled FBI agents. Maybe have their Wildboyz mentor/animal wrangler/flagrant hippie Manny Puig cameo as the FBI Director.

    Dave Englund plays the hyperarticulate, twitchy loner (shades of John Malcatraz from In The Line Of Fire) who might be the key to uncovering the plot, but turns out to be just a skeevy sideshow-type dude.

    Al Pacino turns up the volume as a member of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, essentially reprising his role from Scent Of A Woman, and mostly so half the audience can go “Hey, it’s Al Pacino!” and the other half of the audience can go “Who’s Al Pacino?”.

    Finally, the coup de maître….. as The President Of The United States, I give you:

    Bobcat Goldthwait. NOT Bob Goldthwait the director; BobCAT. The guy from the Police Academy movies, One Crazy Summer, and Scrooged. THAT guy. Tell me this is NOT perfectamundo casting (OK, don’t….. just take my word for it).

    As I said, I have zero notion as to how Knoxville’s character sets the plot in motion, how it plays out, and all that other shit that would comprise a proper narrative structure. But as a pure IDEA….. I think it’s a good one.

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