Published Nov 2 2010, 12:30 GMT | By Simon Reynolds
More than a decade after Johnny Knoxville
, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius and Co. first filmed themselves going through the pain barrier for MTV, the Jackass
team are back together for their third big screen outing. Normal service is resumed, only this time around it's all presented in 3D. A curious collision of lo-fi digital camera work and cutting-edge filmmaking technology for sure, yet one that's a match made in puerile heaven. Just as horror movies have embraced the inherent gimmickiness of the form, Jackass 3D
director Jeff Tremaine sends a variety of fluids and body parts flying out into the audience. It's hardly the 3D "immersion" that James Cameron champions, but it's highly effective and impactful.
This latest Jackass
is, as expected, brilliantly low-brow and crude. The skits have always resembled 'roided-up slapstick - Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy pushed to extremes. There's something admirable about the team's sheer commitment to putting their bodies on the line in the name of entertainment. Jackass
tends to work better in its shortened TV form - the sketches are primed for the eroding attention spans of YouTubers - but 3D
has a more than satisfying hit-to-miss ratio. It wheels between being gut-bustingly hilarious and squirm-inducing and icky. That's the point of it all, right?
A short Beavis & Butthead
cartoon kicks off the movie before an elaborately-staged slow-motion sequence displays the new dimension. From then on out it's giant spring-loaded hands flying into faces, bee hives getting agitated, a tooth getting pulled via a Ferrari, dildos flying out of bazookas and an 'Elective Avenue' of tasers and cattle prods that requires careful navigation. All this is interspersed with pranks on the unsuspecting public, the best of which features Wee-Man engaging in a bar room brawl that descends into total anarchy. Comic performers who push the boundaries of taste of decency tend to be the ones best remembered, and it's certainly difficult to forget Steve-O bungeeing inside a toilet cubicle while a torrent of s**t erupts around him or the endless hammerings endured by Chris Pontius's penis.Jackass 3D
is very much about personal taste. If you've enjoyed the gang's previous adventures then this will tickle the funny bone - if it's not been your cup of tea then this won't change your mind. What the movie does represent though - highlighted by fuzzy old Jackass
footage and childhood photos running over the end credits - is a document of a ten-year-long friendship. Johnny, Bam, Steve-O et al clearly have deep affection for each other, and inflicting extreme physical pain on each other is their unique way of expressing it. Ultimately, they just want to have a good time and take their fans along for the ride. On that front they're completely successful.> What do you think of the movie? Share your views