As a hobbyist film critic that has written online reviews for ten years, I’ve never felt more self-conscious about how I spend my free time than in writing this review of Jackass 3D. Does a film that includes a man crapping out of a model train set really need critiquing? Well, I intend to write about the excellent Animal Kingdom and Winter’s Bone eventually but I’ve got writers block today so instead I’m going to talk about Jackass 3D.
Jackass 3D doesn’t stray very far from the successful formula that it has used for the past ten years in both the film and television series. You get 90 minutes of unrelated skits with the same cast of masochists, skate boarders, midgets and chronically overweight companions doing assorted painful and/or entertaing routines for you, the viewer, to enjoy and wince at. It’s best enjoyed as a communal experience, either at a cinema or if you’re watching at home on DVD, with a group of mates.
I think the secret ingredient to the success of Jackass is the editing. The stunts of course are the obvious highlight of the show but it’s the delivery of the gags that hold your attention. Each skit has to find just the right balance between selling the anticipation of what is about to happen, letting the gag unfold and then watching the cast react afterwards. I find that Johnny Knoxville and Wee Man in particular have an infectious laughter that contributes immensely to the enjoyment of the skits. This 3D installment also has the best replays of the skits themselves, utilizing both the 3D effect and the slow motion replays to great effect.
Of the three installments, I think this one ranks firmly in the middle for me (with Jackass being the best, Jackass 2 ranking last). Here’s why: I feel like the breakdown of each film’s skits can be broken down to several categories.
Sadomasochistic gags – e.g. Steve O puts a fishhook through his cheek and swims with sharks
Public nuisance gags – e.g. the Jackass crew reek havoc on Tokyo while wearing panda outfits
Visual gags – e.g. almost any skit involving Wee Man and Preston Lacy
Skateboarding stunts – e.g. skateboarding with Tony Hawk while wearing a fat suit
Poo – e.g. Dave England craps in a toilet for sale in a department store
The first film I believe has the best balance between these five components. I believe it can be broken down to look something like this:
This third film on the other hand, looks more like this:
As you can see from this scientific analysis, Poo has shot way up in this movie (in one scene, quite literally). So if you love your fecal humour, you’re in luck. Also, while the sadomasochistic content has stayed pretty consistent, I hope you love barnyard related skits because there’s about six very similar variations of the Jackass crew getting attacked by a barnyard animal. Buffaloes, pigs, dogs, goats, you name it. It got a wee bit repetitive for my liking. And personally, I prefer slightly less poo in my film.
Overall, this is still an entertaining instalment of Jackass that shouldn’t disappoint fans of the series. The repetition of a few skits is more than offset by the positive addition of the 3D effects. The cast still have plenty of entertaining new ideas and the film offers a greater number of laugh-out-loud moments than most other comedies. I kinda hopes its their last film before retiring to be honest though. Some of those cast members, Knoxville and Bam Margera in particular, are starting to age rather quickly. Surely they’ve made their millions now and don’t need to keep doing this to themselves?