Adhering again to the ‘no pain, no gain’ rule, self-styled masochists Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and cohorts unleash yet another volley of immature anti-health-and-safety ‘what if?’ scenarios for the third descendant of their once-popular MTV series. The big question, of course, is whether these ageing, jovial jackasses have passed their sell-by date. Well, on the evidence of this mostly hilarious outing, I’d say there’s still some mileage in the old dogs yet. Their brand of juvenile, slapstick humour won’t appeal to all, but for fans of YouTube misfortune it’s like watching 50 thigh-slapping schadenfreude-inspiring clips in a row. And this time it’s all in 3D and high-def ultra-slow motion.
As before, the crux of it all is to see who can endure the most pain, whether it’s having a baseball thwacked into one’s privates, seeing what happens when two people are stuck together with SuperGlue, playing ‘Pin the Tail’ on a real kicking donkey or risking a game of ‘Beehive Tether Ball’ with a swarm of bees (some of the funniest moments involve angry animals). But then they blow it all by including really sick stuff like gag-inducing rectal eruptions, sweat-drinking and vomiting… lots of vomiting. As before, Jeff Tremaine’s film starts with near five-star hilarity and slowly fizzles out as it passes the hour mark. It’s fabulously funny in small doses, but these unrelenting pranks and farcical set-ups become too monotonous to endure for a full 94 minutes.