Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of juvenile thirtysomething buddies — including Steve-O, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Wee Man and Chris Pontius — are back, inflicting all kinds of masochistic mayhem on each other, much of it in three glorious dimensions.
Longtime Jackass maestro Jeff Tremaine again directs this third film version of the TV series he created for MTV with Knoxville and Spike Jonze (who briefly appears here in a fat suit), and the “narrative” unfolds in pretty much the same way as its predecessors: the Jackass crew performing a succession of random lo-fi “stunts” typically involving, in the words of Pontius, “shit, danger and puking.”
All of which makes the designation of Preston Lacy as the lone writer on the film curious. Really? They needed someone to “write” the stunt called “Tee Ball,” in which Steve-O gets a tee ball hit into his groin? Other stunts include bare-chested dudes being attached to each other via Super Glue; Knoxville, clad in a convincing old-man get-up, sucking face with his underage-looking “granddaughter” on a busy city sidewalk; Margera's “Rocky” punch to unsuspecting victims' faces; Pontius hitting a variety of things with his penis; and Steve-O being catapulted through the air while strapped to the seat of a fully stocked Port-O-Let.
Unfortunately, few of the crew's antics rise to the level of truly inspired, leaving audiences — especially longtime devotees — wanting more in this crude, anything-goes age where even our once-unique Jackasses need to up the ante. On the other hand, I'm not sure where else they can go without risking their lives even more acutely or garnering an NC-17 rating.
The most compelling aspect of this sporadically funny movie is its seemingly unintentional homoerotic undercurrent — the look of joyous anticipation on each of the guys' faces as the other engages in their stunt of choice is actually kind of endearing. Think of Jackass 3D as an odd strain of performance art doubling as an exercise in male bonding. Grade: C
Opens Oct 15. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.