Cert – 18, Run-time – 1 hour 36 minutes, Director – Jeff Tremaine
The Jackass team reassemble, with some new faces, after more than ten years away to put each other through another round of pranks, ‘games’, stunts and pain.
“D!ck pain hurts” three words that state the obvious and also help to sum up just part of Jackass rather well. While still somewhat difficult to review the film franchise based on the hit MTV series has managed to remain a level of consistency (certainly firmer than the faeces regularly featured throughout) while still slightly developing with each feature. It’s been over ten years since the core ensemble were last on the screen putting each other through various painful stunts, but still having a good laugh in (and at) each other’s company. Now, over twenty years since the original TV series, most of the regular ensemble are back, with a handful of new figures (although never taking the spotlight away from the returning members, or feeling pushed aside), as Johnny Knoxville puts it, “doing the same old stupid sh!t”.
Perhaps compared to the previous films there’s more within Jackass Forever that emphasises the more prank-like nature of many of the stunts. An early piece sees various figures locked in a pitch-black room with what they think is a venomous snake, while Knoxville and Chris Pontius (perhaps the most confident man to ever grace(?) the screen), with the help of night vision goggles, tease them with rubber snakes, fake paws and the occasional taser. There’s a developing nature to the increasing worry and laughter of the figures in the room that while spanning only a couple of minutes certainly has a longer feel to it than some other Jackass stunts. Forever appears to have a number of such instances, where in the end everyone has had a good laugh and appears to have some form of good time, even if that comes in the relief after everything that’s just happened. There’s a level of engagement with them as they develop and allow you to laugh with the figures on screen, never feeling cruel – as a handful of pranks and stunts in the first Jackass film feel, to me. Edited montages and compilations create a level of consistency within certain individual segments and generally enhance the humour to be found.
This is perhaps the Jackass film that features the most laughter from the cast, and indeed the crew. While we still have cameramen throwing up there’s a stronger feel to the presence of the crew, with even director Jeff Tremaine featuring slightly more than before and being involved in one or two stunts as well. While there isn’t wholly a sentimental vibe of friendship in place, this is the same old Jackass, it’s clear the bond that the group has and it brings you in that little bit more to be able to laugh more freely at some of the unfolding events. Their bond is shown in moments of worry, Dave England clearly concerned before, during and after bringing a pogo stick to ‘Danger’ Ehren McGhehey’s testicles (perhaps one of the moments that gains the biggest audible flinch response from the audience). As usual, it’s made clear, do not try this at home!
“I’m a grown man, I’m 51 years old!” cries Preston Lacy while his friends around him laugh at heightened toilet humour. The core cast may certainly be older but they’re still having as much of a good time (if albeit occasionally painful) as ever. It manages to rub off on the viewer, particularly during the extended pranks and sequences where things are allowed to truly develop and be built upon for extra chuckles along the way. It feels as if there’s more wider involvement and laughter from the cast and crew as a whole and that also manages to create a fair few laughs amongst the audience.
In general this is perhaps the most ironed-out and enjoyable Jackass film yet, in terms of both set up and occasionally hazardous execution. We’re shown patches of banter between the on-screen figures instead of moving from segment to segment. It helps the overall flow and entertainment factor and simply provides you with plenty of amusement, and, of course, its fair share of shared pain, to make for something that while being the same old Jackass is perhaps the best, most enjoyable one yet.
Perhaps the most ironed-out Jackass film yet there’s a stronger group feel to Jackass Forever than ever before. There’s plenty of chuckles within the harmful amusement, strengthened by the laughs and banter shown on-screen, particularly within the construction of longer segments given time to breathe.