By Elias Savada | October 15, 2010

Finally, a film that goes where no other goes this Fall season: Straight for the gonads and numerous other body parts, leaving many of them sore, black & blue, or buck naked. Who needs plot? Who needs intrigue? String together a series of short vignettes highlighting mankind’s incredibly stupid ability to poke fun, fish (some seemingly land in your lap), snakes (real and rubber), stampeding buffaloes, a huge paper-maché hand, cannonballs, jet engines, and other assorted inane, dangerous objects at itself, and you have “Jackass 3D.” Beavis and Butt-Head, another Paramount/MTV licensed product, introduce the film. Frat boys will love it. As well as the legions of fans who have followed the lunatic antics of Johnny Knoxville and his stunt pranksters since he unleashed “Jackass” a decade ago on MTV. The latest in the series of Jackass features finds the cast doing the same ole stupid and deliriously funny things that might cause serious harm or death if you try them on your own. A strong disclaimer at the start and end of the film reminds viewers not to try this at home, in your portable toilet, or anywhere else. And it is something to heed as even the trained “professionals” suffer groan-inducing injuries captured by the camera.

It’s definitely a guy film. Those in the audience, and those up on screen. Small ones, (really) big ones, and occasionally several nude ones (but why keep on a pair of socks?). Yup, letting that freak flag fly, airing out their male parts in all their “Oh….my….God” glory, especially when that exposure showcases some remarkable talent. Like flying a toy helicopter. Or playing baseball.

I have to admit I only saw snippets of the first two features and never watched the tv show, but I figured at this stage of my life, I’m game for just about anything a filmmaker wants to throw at me. Especially if one is the incredible Spike Jonze (director of “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation,” and last year’s “Where the Wild Things Are”).  Jonze serves as producer, second unit director, and appears as himself and, in “Candid Camera” mode, as Irving Zisman, a really bad 90-year-old grandpa to a teen-bait granddaughter. Director Jeff Tremaine, helmer of the Jackass franchise, carries the legend to 3-D levels this go-round, although the gimmick adds very little to the production, with a few exceptions. A segment with dangling stun-guns/tazers works well. And, yes, a piece showcasing the amazing Will the Farter is the best use of the added dimension. It definitely toots the technology.

The format, as in the past, basically has the cast/crew quickly setting up the stunt, following through (successfully sometimes, often hilariously), and then laughing at themselves (we join in). The short, minutes-long sections usually have names such as The High Five, The Jet Ski, Beehive Tetherball, Roller Buffalo (Knoxville looking lovely in his pink cardigan as he walks in the mud here), etc. Several fragments deal with super-mighty glue and human flesh, a rougher version of the chest hair removal scene from “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” When bungees and a “fully stocked” portable toilet take flight in Poo Cocktail Supreme, sympathy barfing ensues, often including cameraman Lance Bangs. Celebrity actors and sports figures make guest appearances.

As in any Fourth of July fireworks display, the short-tempered sketches in “Jackass 3D” explode with a gleeful, manic showing of colorful (well, mostly off-colorful) humor. One bit follows another, some with the same blue tint, others with a stain of red. And yes, there are screen-fillling streams of yellow hurling forth as well. The glow fades by the next morning, but you remember it as an awesome experience. The film’s last glorious, goonish exhibition also is a fitting end to that pyrotechnic analogy, raining down on the audience with 3-D abandon, and complete with an explosive kicker that washes down the event with gusto.

“Jackass 3D” brings a silly symphony of pain and extreme cathartic release. Yes, it’s an odd relief from the stress of today’s failed economy and other woes, but the film does give you a generally good feeling during it’s short hour and a half length. You will often chuckle and/or groan at the stunting, punking, and other odd little things that these grown boys do for fun.

Prudish? Don’t go. Curious? Go. It’s chock full of material that will set your funny bone shaking and your teeth rattling.

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  1. Julia says:

    It’s a guy movie ? WTF ? I’m a girl, I love it and I know so many girls, who do too.

  2. Nicholas Cesare says:

    Irving Zisman is played by Johnny Knoxville. Also, why would this website have you review this film if you didn’t even see the first two or the show? It just seems dumb to me.

  3. Andrew S says:

    Not to nitpick, but I believe Irving Zisman is actually Johnny Knoxville. Spike Jonze played the old lady.

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