Unreal Movie Review: Jackass 3D

Jackass isn’t a movie, it’s an experience, and therefore, in my estimation, it must be reviewed as such. There’s no discernible plot, other than “A group of guys are desperately determined to die, or at the very least, beat each other’s penises to death.” That’s been the description for all three Jackass films, and so by the third installment, you know the theater is going to be filled by a crowd who knows exactly what they’re getting.

And the fact is, if you’re in this theater, you are entertained by this stuff, at least at a primal level. If everyone on screen is cracking up when someone gets hit in the crotch by an angry ram, and everyone in the audience is laughing too, chances are you’re probably laughing whether you like it or not. And you often and won’t.

The guys usually try to balance out dangerous stunts with ones that are just flat out disgusting, but presumably as each cast member has broken many bones and almost ridden a runaway shopping cart straight into hell a few times, they’ve toned down the death defying antics and the gross out gags are the ones that really stick with you.

Naturally, there are no screenshots of what I’m about to describe, so here’s some beehive tetherball.

There are only a few degrees now separating a Jackass film from an internet video along the lines of say, 2 girls 1 cup. Sweat is collected from a guys’ ass while he runs on an elliptical, and downed by his friend. An ass covered in green paint erupts like a volcano with actual shit as a model train goes by. A man hits a golfball with his exposed penis while his friend tries to catch it in his mouth. A man is trapped inside a port-o-potty filled with dog diarrhea and we watch him puke his guts out when the box is launched into the air and it enters every hole in his head. The fact that this movie is shown in theaters and is merely rated R is mind blowing, and that’s only amplified when I hear news like a Ryan Gosling/Michelle Williams drama just received an NC-17 from the MPAA for some implied eating out action.

But I’m not here to lecture the film on its morals or taste level. There are none, that’s the point, that’s why you’re here. What MOST offended me about Jackass 3D was the “3D” aspect of it, and due to the film’s extreme lack of plot, I have a bit of space here to delve into why that is.

We all know that Avatar spawned a wave of 3D live action films, but the quality of these entries has been so abysmal, they’ve more often than not made the film WORSE for a ticket price increase of anywhere between 40 and 100%.

If there is a devil, he’s currently roaming the earth upconverting every movie to 3D.

My solution was simple, I just wasn’t going to pay extra for any 3D movies until the technology finally was worth the money, and so since my unfortunate experience with Alice in Wonderland 3D, every movie I’ve seen since has been stuck firmly in two dimensions.

But when I walked up to the counter for Jackass 3D, something was amiss.

Me: “Uh hi, are there any non-3D showings of Jackass?”

Ticket girl: “Nope, they’re all in 3D.”

Me: “Really? Uh ok I guess, one student then.”

Ticket girl: “There are no student ticket rates on 3D movies.”

Me: “@#$%”

I wanted to spend $7.50 to see this movie in 2D, but instead I was forced to spend $14, close to twice as much, to see it in a format I didn’t want in the first place. The fact that this made $50M opening weekend is surely in part due to millions like me who were forced to pay way more than they wanted because really, what do you do when you’re standing at the theater counter and told there’s no 2D option? Turn around and leave?

I was further upset to then be handed “Real 3D” glasses, which is unequivocally the worst kind of 3D tech out there right now. There really should be a way to find out which type of 3D you’re going to see before you buy the ticket. But my fury increased even further when I sat down in the film, I saw that there were exactly two 3D scenes in the film. The intro, which featured flying fish and paintballs and such, and the outro, which had an entire room exploding in slow motion. Probably no more than six minutes in total.

Yes, the entire film was technically in “3D” but when you compared it to those opening and closing shots, it’s clear they only had the “nice” cameras on rent for  a few hours, and the rest of the film is the barely discernible, things-sort-of-have-depth-in-an-awkward-way, type of 3D I’ve been avoiding like the plague for almost a year now.

This was funny, but I didn’t notice it, or any of the other stunts were any cooler in 3D.

I’m making  a big point about this because this is the first time I can ever remember being FORCED to see a movie in 3D. Yes, no one is making me to see the film itself, but the fact remains that if I wanted to see Jackass, it cost twice as much as a normal movie, no matter what, as there was no getting around it. And that is something I’m hoping doesn’t become a trend, but with other 3Direliant movies on the horizon (the final Saw installment among them), I’m worried this the first, rather than the last time we see such tactics.

As for the film itself, it’s exactly what you’d expect. It relies a little too much on the gross out factor rather than the far-cooler-to-witness daredevil antics the series is known for, but when you average it out, it’s close to being on par with the other films, meaning if you wanted to be there in the first place, it will make you laugh. But for the gang to top themselves after this? The only logical step is Jackass 4 being straight up gay scat porn. In 3D of course.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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  1. “what do you do when you’re standing at the theater counter and told there’s no 2D option? Turn around and leave?”

    Ummm… yeah, that’s exactly what you do.

  2. 2.5 for the 3D? That seems a bit harsh. I felt the movie was damn good for a series of stupid stunts. When you get to work and you can just look at someone you know saw it and start cracking up without saying a word, you’ve made a damn good movie.

  3. HELL YEAH MAN! Death To 3D ! I’ve seen all the Saw movies in theaters but if Saw VII is 3D Only they ain’t gettin’ any of my Green! Fugg THAT ! I’d leave so fast !

  4. “what do you do when you’re standing at the theater counter and told there’s no 2D option? Turn around and leave?”

    Yes exactly, I hate the 3D movie craze as much as I hate the Twilight series BS. The fact the Piranha was only in 3D was exactly why I didn’t see it even though I was interested.

  5. @Skeebo and Ty

    As much as I hate the format, I’m not going to turn around and drive home with the four friends I came with purely as a matter of principle. I still want to see the movie after all.

  6. Avatar was only in 3D and it didn’t seem like anyone complained about being “forced” to see that film.

    You can choose not to support 3D technology, but in the end its up to the consumer. You can’t complain about a bad product if you still buy it after knowing the risks. You’re bias against 3D really shoud have been left out of the review. I understand that it is a part of the film and critics are bound to comment on it, but when that one aspect takes up more than half of your review, it becomes more of a rant.

  7. I agree with the review in that its unfair to not give a 2D option. I wear glasses already, I dont know if anyone else suffers with this but the 3D glasses feel really uncomfortable on top of my own. I had this problem with resident evil and it put a slight dampener on my experience of the film, though at least they put effort into the 3D effects. For this film it seems wasted

  8. Guess I won’t be seeing this either. This is the second time I’m turning down to seeing a movie I want to see (Piranha being the other) because it’s only in 3D. I haven’t seen a movie in 3D yet, and I plan to keep it that way…

    Until this becomes standard of course. Biggest October opening ever? 50 million bucks in its first weekend to watch an hour of a half for what I could watch at home for free? You can’t tell me that the execs at the studios aren’t already planning to release their next films in 3D ONLY.

    Yeah, as much as I love Jackass, this film, as well as Avatar (of course) are gonna be the 2 reasons that I will one day no longer visit the theater to see a movie. 14 bucks? For that price they better put a harness in the seat that rubs my crotch for me during the sex scenes.

    Waitaminute….I better copyright that idea and send it out. I’m gonna be RICH!! RICH I TELL YOU!!!

  9. “I understand that it is a part of the film and critics are bound to comment on it, but when that one aspect takes up more than half of your review, it becomes more of a rant.”

    I feel your pain. I clicked here expecting a subtle, nuanced review filled with metaphor analysis, character motivation, foreshadowing he had picked up on, a discussion of the fine cinematography work, and of course, the individual method-acting performances of each of Johnny Knoxville’s swollen, purple testicles. And all he wants to talk about is 3D. Jeez.

  10. I’m dissapointed to hear about there only being 6 minutes of real 3D (the type that is filmed on 3D equipment, not converted later) since a lot of the press I’ve heard about it has been that they used the 3D equipment. I won’t see anything in 3D unless it was filmed on 3D equipment. I actually find that – at least with Avatar – it made the movie experience pretty spectacular. I’m excited that Peter Jackson has decided to film The Hobbit in 3D but I won’t be seeing the re-released 3D conversion of Lord of the Rings.

  11. I agree with Steve above – if it’s only offered in 3D, it’s a no-go for me, point blank. I got burned on Clash of the Titans being in 3D, and NOTHING actually being in 3D (not to mention being burned for having seen that POS in the first place); it’s not happening again. And with your review essentially telling me it’s less about the dumb stunts and more about the gross, that pretty much clinches it for me. Thanks for the heads-up. :thumbsup:

  12. so you hate 3D, big deal, tough, most young people love it. The film was great, yeah the 3D could have been better like the beginning and end, but it was good and added to my jackass experience.

  13. I though half the movie was hilarious…a quarter of it was down right sickening and the rest was plain torture…like you said I’m sure how it’s only rated R when it just chills your bones when you see them beg for their life…i don’t think most the audience knew what they signed up for…when one of them was in excruciating pain and ask “can I be done”….who’s to say they have to keep going??? I found that pretty appalling

  14. I have to agree that the 3D in this movie was pretty sucky and not worth the extra.

    The content of the movie was a little on the cheap side I thought. I really enjoy laughing, not almost throwing up in my mouth every 15 minutes. It just seems as if they ran out of time and ideas, so they resorted to the gross-out stuff for a good chunk of the movie. The movie would have been more pleasing if they had gone back to their roots of doing their bits in public.

    Don’t get me wrong, I laughed quite a bit and I enjoyed the movie for the most part, but for every minute I spent laughing I spent another minute feeling nauseous.

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