Director: Jeff Tremaine | 1h 36mins | Comedy
The cast of Jackass return to deliver pain, pranks and stunts in the name of entertainment.
It’s always been difficult to truly define, and in turn review, Jackass. There’s no narrative and no particular theme (other than barbarity), so defining it as a ‘film’ is quite hard. To review it as a film would mean it goes down as one of the worst of all time, but to review it as entertainment puts it up there with some of the very best lowbrow content ever to reach our screens.
The cast have come a long way since the MTV days, as the original Jackass TV show and films shot the likes of Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O into popular culture’s direct limelight. Other members have had their ups and downs (Bam Margera is noticeably not involved in this production), but the cast rejoin once more to put themselves in grievous harm all in the name of entertainment. Entertainment which, as much as you don’t want to admit, is incredibly transfixing at times.
While there are throwbacks to some of the more memorable stunts made by the original cast (Knoxville going toe-to-toe with a bull is a highlight) the film actually tries to conjure up new and bizarre ways to entertain us. Ehren McGhehey takes numerous hits to his private parts, one of which comes from UFC fighter Francis Ngannou. There’s an elaborate set piece in which a vulture eats raw meat off of Wee Man, a scorpion based cosmetic surgery with newcomer Rachel Wolfson. It’s inventive in the most barbaric way, so much so you kind of want to applaud them.
With the original cast all well into their 40’s and 50’s however, it seemed time to bring in some new faces. Multiple youngsters seemed to have joined the crew, all of whom get their own rite of passage into the world of Jackass, potentially ushering in a new group for a new generation. The biggest issue is that, while unlocking a level of nostalgia and introducing new faces, parts of the Jackass world are much less entertaining than they appeared when you were younger.
A common type of humour used by the group is toilet humour, something that may have been funny when you were younger but is now pretty vulgar to watch which may be a strong sign that Jackass has dated. While trying to usher in a new generation it seems that the group have held onto certain traits that are more likely to put off viewers more so than entice them. Seeing grown men defecate in their own pants truly is one of the worst things to see.
As I said earlier it’s always been hard to judge this type of film. Jackass Forever, much like the other Jackass movies, could be one of the worst films you ever watch. But, as much as you don’t want to admit it, the stamp that this group left on popular culture during the height of their popularity was immense, something that Jackass Forever celebrates while never losing the stupidity that made it so enjoyable.