Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jackass: The Movie

Without the financial boost and publicity support of MTV Productions and Paramount Pictures, Jackass: The Movie would be just another straight-to-video exploitation tape being pimped on late-night cable, alongside Jerry Springer: Too Hot For TV! and Girls Gone Wild. But it's hard to imagine even the drunkest dullard voluntarily enduring Jackass: The Movie, a contextless, narrative-and-narration-free sequence of stunts, equally divided among pranks that make their unsuspecting victims uncomfortable, gross-out gags that make the audience uncomfortable, and random acts of creative masochism on the part of performers associated with MTV's Jackass television series. Many of Jackass: The Movie's "stunts" are so inane that the pre- and post-film warnings for would-be copycats seem ludicrous. (Remember, kids, these are skilled professionals snorting wasabi up their noses, eating sno-cones made with their own urine, and hiding in the trees near a golf course, using air horns to irritate golfers. You don't have the technical skills required for this kind of stunt wizardry!) Other gags do at least require coordination and physical ability, or at least the flexibility and muscle control displayed by Ryan Dunn, who inserts a lubed toy car into his own anus and then visits a radiologist for an X-ray, claiming that he hasn't been able to walk right since awakening after a drunken frat party. The best that can be said about Jackass: The Movie is that many of its bad ideas are startlingly inventive: When cast members fill their swim trunks with shrimp and go diving with whale sharks, or try to get tattooed in a fast-moving Humvee driven along a bumpy off-road course by Henry Rollins, their originality is hard to deny. But it doesn't take long for the endless parade of alligators attached to nipples, bottle rockets launched out of rectums, and other buttock-baring, penis-pulling, scatologically obsessed gags to have a deadening effect, as it all begins to feel like an interminable evening spent watching the class burnouts huff paint and light their farts. In the film's most excruciating scene, the self-proclaimed jackasses simply drink beer and give each other paper cuts. After the first half-hour of Jackass: The Movie drones by, and the none-too-novel novelty of uncensored swearing wears off, audience members are likely to feel like they're right there in the picture, suffering for no reason and trying to pretend it's funny.

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