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.”
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