(2022) (Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O) (R)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Comedy: A group of daredevils perform various wild, dumb, and sometimes dangerous stunts, and gags in this fourth film based on the MTV TV show.
In this third direct sequel to the 2002 film based on the MTV stunt show, Johnny Knoxville, and his band of daredevil performers including series veterans Steve-O, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Chris Pontius, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy, and others, along with newcomers Sean "Poopies" McInerney, Rachel Wolfson, Eric Manaka, and Zach Holmes perform a variety of extreme stunts and other gags.
- OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Probably the most famous line from the 1983 film "A Christmas Story" is the warning repeated to young Ralphie from various characters -- including his mother -- that if he gets his coveted Red Rider air rifle for Christmas "You'll shoot your eye out."
Granted, not losing body parts is a big role that parents (and some other adults) play in the lives of children. Along those lines, I'm guessing that Moe, Larry, and Curly weren't advised about potential ocular injuries before they became the Three Stooges and repeatedly attempted to poke each other's eyes out. Then again, maybe they did receive such warnings and decided to flaunt them -- in the name of comedy -- in their onscreen antics.
I've certainly wondered the same about Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of daredevil fools who put their eyes and pretty much every other body part -- with a definite heightened focus on one region of the male anatomy -- in harm's way for a wince-inducing laugh or two in their "Jackass" skit-based, TV show episodes and later movies.
Those include the original film from 2002, the follow-up in 2006, and the 3-D based third installment in 2010. Now, after a long layoff (not considering the more "traditional" comedy found in the plot-fueled "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"), we get the fourth entry in the franchise, "Jackass Forever."
Some of the old players are gone (one died, the other had personal demons that kept him out of the offering) and a handful of new ones have been added, but it's just more of the same old, same old that we've seen plenty of times before. The difference, of course, is that all of the returning veterans are that much older since we last saw them.
All of which gives the film a slightly interesting dichotomy where you have to sort of admire their Tom Brady-esque longevity in a line of work that usually doesn't see that, but also feel sorry for the guys if this is what they must do to earn a living. That's especially true considering the ages of the veterans, the fact that the effects of injuries pile up, and what have to be outrageous insurance policy costs. I have no idea if any of that's the case, but that feeling pervades the various stunts that have a definite been-there, seen-that-before aura to them.
If anything, that's the biggest rub of the offering. In all the intervening years, this is the best they could come up with? Sure, a few bits are new, but the majority are simply retreads and occasionally direct repeats of those we've already seen -- and usually winced at -- in the previous offerings.
Simply put, if you enjoy this sort of comedy -- and I'll admit I laughed a time or two -- you'll probably be in hog heaven. But -- as was the case with its predecessors -- as a "movie" movie, it's a disjointed hit or miss affair where you don't know whether to laugh at or feel sorry for the performers. And for that, and the possibility of losing an eye or two, "Jackass Forever" rates exactly like its earlier incarnations as a 2 out of 10 score.
Reviewed January 25, 2022 / Posted February 4, 2022
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