Jackass: The Movie [2002]

Some critics see the success of Jackass: The Movie as the last nail in the coffin of civilization, and they're probably right. This compilation of pain-inflicting stunts and embarrassing pranks has no artistic merit whatsoever--which doesn't keep it from being freakishly entertaining. Among other things, Johnny Knoxville and his posse get beaten up by a female kick-boxing champion; shoot bottle rockets out of their rectums; run amok in Japan wearing giant panda bear costumes; swim with whale sharks while holding pounds of brine shrimp in their swimsuits; and get done up in realistic old-age makeup so that they can race each other in motorized wheelchairs, among other goofs. It's a weird mixture of machismo and masochism, adolescent recklessness and frat boy homoeroticism, and someday someone will write a doctoral thesis about how Jackass relates to our safety-obsessed society. In the meantime, just enjoy. --Bret Fetzer Jackass Number Two could be alternately titled " From Bowties to Bunny Ears: What Will Chris Pontius Be Wearing Next?" Like the first Jackass movie, Johnny, Bam, Chris, Steve-O and the gang are all here. This "sequel" is full of stunts, pranks and one-liners, and contains more defecation, more male nudity, more scream-worthy moments and of course more uncontrollable laughter. The film opens with a rather well directed cinematic piece: the entire Jackass gang running from a stampede of bulls. From there it takes off into the hysterically exhausting world of Jackass. The bulls are actually in quite a few stunts, one of which has "leader" Johnny Knoxville using himself as a red flag, and getting spearheaded by a charging bull. Ah, good times. Some of the stunts include: "Beehive Limo", "Fart Mask", "Red Rocket" and a fake terrorist plot which boasts the improve line, "Where I'm going, I don't need luggage." Bam gets branded, they fish for sharks with Steve-O as bait, Johnny catches Anacondas with his bare hands, the list goes on. The gem in this collection of antics has to be the offensive interactions with the innocent people on the street by Johnny Knoxville and director/actor Spike Jonez, while disguised as a very old man and woman. Celebrity guests partaking in stunts include extreme sports legends Tony Hawk and Mat Hoffman. The movie culminates in a beautifully choreographed, fantastical and dangerous musical number not to be missed. Throughout the movie it is apparent that the Jackass gang is older and a little more worn, especially when Bam pleads, "Please God, don't let there be a "Jackass 3". For fans of the TV series and the films, a trilogy may be just what the doctor ordered. The DVD extras (deleted scenes, unrated material and two pretty funny music videos) are more of the same and worth the watch, though some of it is not for the faint hearted. --Rachel Moss

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