- 04 Nov 10
Knoxville and co’s charisma used to keep the gags entertaining, but their lack of energy this time round just makes it uncomfortable...
Realistically I could reveal the address of every Irish clamper, identify the secret ingredient in Coco-Cola and explain the plot of Synecdoche, New York in simple terms here and it wouldn’t matter. Those bastards who stole my €80 would be safe, Pepsi would still taste crap and Kaufman’s logic would remain a mystery, because if you hate Jackass you’ll have skipped over this review with a disgusted snort, and if you love Jackass, it’s unlikely you made it past the word ‘Synecdoche.’ But for kicks, let’s perform an outrageous stunt of our own and pretend Jackass 3D can be critiqued like a normal film.
Apart from the 3D-friendly credit sequences, the film’s format differs little from the previous two. As ever, missiles hit testicles, irate animals charge and there’s enough defecating and vomiting to make The Human Centipede seem like a rom-com.
But though the stunts are still here, the cast’s enthusiasm for them is noticeably absent. After ten years, the Jackass boys are now men, and are clearly reluctant to subject themselves to taser guns and scorpions. And understandably so. While the TV series’ stunts were outrageous, the pain was bearable enough that the victim could laugh along with his audience. In Jackass 3D, the increasingly sceptical volunteers more often than not end up curled on the ground in pain, before croaking “Did we get the shot?” Knoxville and co’s charisma used to keep the gags entertaining, but their lack of energy this time round just makes it uncomfortable.
The low point comes not from the bungee Port-a-Loo or Lamborghini Toothpull, but during a mean-spirited prank against Bam Margera, when his phobia of snakes is exploited until he’s left agitated and tearful, inducing the first sincere apology in Jackass history.
I think a blanket apology to both audiences and the cast themselves would be more appropriate – it should never have come to this.