Is there anything more reassuring than watching a Jackass film? That might be an odd thing to say given how ridiculously uncomfortable, to put it lightly, this motley crew has been making themselves for the past two decades. But it’s comforting to know that when Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and pals put themselves through the most dangerous, juvenile stunts they could imagine, a hilarious time will be had.
Jackass Forever offers exactly that, though this franchise is far more than just a patchwork of batshit crazy hijinks and dick jokes. Long-time franchise director Jeff Tremaine knows exactly how to get the best out of both his cast and camera people to deliver often meticulous, always rip-roaring set-pieces. Whether it’s as simple as the classic cup test (getting wellied in the crotch by a high velocity object) or as complicated as a kaiju penis puppet attack (as bad as it sounds), the practical effects and cinematography has never looked this cinematic.
A new guard of pranksters holds its own amongst the OGs, but there’s something about the world-weariness of long-suffering stunt people Danger Ehren, Dave England, and Preston Lacy that makes every silly stunt they get suckered into that much funnier. Their unfiltered fear, anger, amusement, and, finally, relief at surviving to tell the tale provides unfailingly endearing payoffs to every mad enterprise – usually accompanied by one of Chris Pontius’s off-the-cuff zingers.
This franchise is far more than just a patchwork of batshit hijinks and dick jokes
It should be said that the use of wild beasts has earned not unfounded accusations of animal cruelty. And they aren’t even needed to enhance the LOL count: even if you took all those creatures out, what remains is a cacophony of hysterically funny, high-octane scenarios daring you not to enjoy. Just try not to wet yourself.
Out worldwide Feb 4.