Saturday, 6 November 2010

Jackass 3D

The kids are back! Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Wee Man and Preston Lacy are joined by a few familiar faces and a few famous friends for more pranks, stunts and stupidity.

Jackass has been entertaining/grossing out fans for over 10 years now on TV and the big screen. Now, they're back once again with their third film outing, but this time, they're in 3D. That's right, three dimensions. The punches and items flying through the air are coming right at you, and so is all the vomit and poo. Obviously, this is not an ordinary film: No acting performances, no writing, no plot/story. It's hard to know what to say about Jackass in a review sense, as well as hard to say anything that most people don't already know about it. It's Jackass, for crying out loud! I'll give it a go, but I can almost guarantee right now that this will be my shortest review ever.

I'll start off by saying that I'm a big fan of the Jackass films. They may not be clever, but they're funny, if not hilarious in particular sketches. The formula was well established in the TV show, and the budget of a big Hollywood production allowed them to go further in the films. Luckily, the formula hasn't changed. The development of the Jackass films has been clear since the first film. Jackass: The Movie had a very cinematic opening sequence and just went ahead with the sketches. Jackass Number Two had a cinematic opening skit as well, and also had a highly theatrical song and dance routine to close. Jackass 3D has very theatrical opening and closing skits which have been filmed surprisingly well, using slow motion and the eponymous 3D.

There's something to be said for the use of 3D in Jackass. It's done really well, and only becomes apparent in certain sketches as a way to enhance the humour, not create it, and it certainly doesn't dominate it. In all honesty, it's the best looking 3D I've seen so far, and I put that down to the use of 3D cameras to shoot the film, which have not only made the film look brilliant but made the 3D really realistic and deep. I imagine when James Cameron reinvented 3D cinema, he didn't have this in mind. The reason it works so well is because of what comes 'towards you' so to speak. Seeing paint balls, buffaloes, American footballs and poo (yes, 3D poo) coming towards you is done well and looks good. Even the poo.

The problem with the Jackass films is that fan expectation means they have to keep going further with each film, which becomes harder and harder as they run out of ideas and as the cast gets older. They don't look as young as they used to, but they're still going hard. On balance, I'd say Steve-O gets the worst of it this time round, which is especially bad for him as he's completely sober now, so will remember every horrifying detail of the 'poo cocktail supreme'. They are definitely more gross out moments than there have been in previous Jackass films, so be warned, and there's a really bad cringeworthy moment involving Danger Ehren's wonky tooth and a Lamborghini. You do the math. Don't say you haven't be warned - there's nakedness, pee, poo and vomit aplenty here.

Overall, you know what you're getting: Stupid people do stupid things. It may be gross at times, but you've got to laugh. It may not big or clever in any way, but it's just damn funny. The 3D fits the format surprisingly well, and doesn't hinder the film at all. The soundtrack is particularly good this time around as well, which sets a backdrop for a rather nice retrospect credits sequence involving clips from the TV series and the previous films with photos of the team from their youth. You get the impression they feel Jackass 3D is the end of the line for them, that this was a good time to look back on the history of the franchise and to close the book on it. Of course, they've said that after the last two films. Don't be surprised to see Jackass 4 in 3 or 4 years time, though hopefully the poo-cano is an idea that's been laid to rest forever. Hey look at that, this review was pretty long after all!

Rating: ***1/2