"NITRO CIRCUS: THE MOVIE" (2012) (Travis Pastrana, Tommy Passemante) (PG-13)
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Documentary: A group of guys and one woman perform various wild, dumb and sometimes dangerous stunts and gags -- based on the MTV TV show.
As lead by Travis Pastrana, a group of extreme stunt performers -- including Tommy Passemante, Jolene Van Vugt, Aaron Fotheringham, Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey, Erik Roner, Jim DeChamp and Greg Powell -- push their bodies and various sorts of vehicles to the limit as they travel around the country and globe preparing for their big live show in Las Vegas.
OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).
Considering the cost to profit success of the three "Jackass" films at the box office ($64, $72 and $117 million domestically) it's somewhat shocking it's taken this long for a copycat version (showing wild people doing crazy and dangerous stunts) to arrive in theaters, especially considering the first installment of the Johnny Knoxville led band of hooligans debuted a decade ago.
That void is now being filled by this film that's based on the MTV stunt show of the same name (and one of which I wasn't remotely familiar), and it's pretty much of the same old, same old, albeit with fresh (and less scarred and battered) faces and bods. They end up taking similar sorts of abuse from bad and/or hard landings during various stunts (most of which involve vehicles or people going off ramps, with many multi-camera slow-mo replays). But the fun and charm, if you will, of Knoxville and company is sorely lacking here (although Johnny briefly shows up for some interview footage talking about these guys, as does, oddly, Channing Tatum).
Fans of the TV series (and the live show that everything builds up to here) might enjoy what's offered, but for everyone else this is a lame rip-off without the giddy cringing that made much of the predecessors so watchable (even if, as films in the traditional sense, they weren't that good). "Nitro Circus: The Movie" rates as a 2 out of 10.