Brace your stomachs and steel yourselves against all manner of bodily fluids — the “Jackass” crew is back and pulling no punches (except those aimed directly at a pair of three-dimensional testicles). “Jackass 3D” is the purest in scatological and slapstick entertainment, and if you’re looking to laugh out loud at some of the most creative stunts, pranks and outright jackassery conceived in recent years, this is well worth your time.
At Showcase and Quality 16
Through the years, the “Jackass” franchise has been a whipping post for cinephiles who criticize its lack of continuity, plot or any requisite aspect of a typical story. The somber bemoan its lack of reverence and purpose, contending that scatology and slapstick aren’t valid forms of entertainment — not to mention the certain backlash the crew will have to contend with when untrained copycats injure themselves and proceed to litigate. They’re all missing the point, which is — succinctly put — there is no point. The title and lack of purpose are more than appropriate, as you’ll surely feel the reactive urge to exclaim, “What a bunch of jackasses!” no fewer than a dozen times during the film’s 93 minutes.
In spite of its obviously lowbrow content, there’s no denying the wit of the whole charade. It’s a fusion of violent slapstick bits like “The Three Stooges,” the daredevil antics of Evel Knievel and vomit-inducing tomfoolery that no one in the natural world has ever had the pleasure of contemplating. In all fairness, it’s geared toward a very specific demographic, and those people will rejoice at this welcome addition to the repertoire of filth.
The biggest catch with the new Jackass installment is its “3D” tagline, which is completely irrelevant to most of the movie (except the first and last scenes). Though the film’s colorization and detail may have been enhanced by the use of 3D film technology, the utter absence of the “pop-up book” images that were ever-present in “Avatar” may make the audience feel like they’ve blown five extra dollars on absolutely nothing. And they probably have.
If it’s any consolation, there’s another groundbreaking technology showcased in the film that’s definitely worth a closer look: The Jackass crew’s Phantom HD cameras are capable of recording at 1,000 fps. This means that slow motion shots (such as those seen in the crowd-pleasing prank aptly titled “Rocky”) are rendered in painfully gorgeous detail. Though this is hardly the first time the technology has been used, it’s one of its first appearances on the silver screen.
Does “Jackass 3D” benefit society? Probably not. Is it fun for the whole family? Definitely not. Will the 18- to 24-year-old male viewer base laugh until they cry? Most certainly.