Review of Jackass 3D

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Johnny Knoxville and friends are back with their daredevil antics for a third installment of the TV show spin-off.
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Movie Review: "Jackass 3D"

-- Rating: R (male nudity, dangerous stunts, profanity)
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: October 15, 2010
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Genre: Documentary/Action/Comedy

"Jackass 3D" avoids the snares of traditional plotlines and goes for humor through pain and humiliation. The movie connects with viewers on many levels, making for a unique movie-going experience.

The hit television show comes to the big screen and few viewers can gainsay the raw power of injuries viewed in 3D. The "Jackass" crew falls off just about everything, from stairwells and cars to homemade structures over three stories high. Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Bam Margera reprise their television roles as the sometimes unwilling participants in pranks, dangerous stunts and other sophomoric humor events.

Knoxville never ceases to amuse with comedic jabs and insight on the whole event. As Steve-O and Margera fall off ever higher objects and come away with obviously painful injuries, he continues to keep the pace flowing and the jokes nonstop throughout the film. From the opening rainbow sequence to the hilarious finale, the movie hits all the right notes.

The entertainment doesn't begin and end with pratfalls, however. Whenever serious injuries occur as a part of the stunts, the camera slows down and films the results with surgical precision. Many viewers are likely to wince more than once at a slowed version of a fall they laughed at just moments before. The fact that such intense replays don't slow the film's momentum is a nod to the skill of the director. Movie-goers are likely to pick right up laughing along with the cast when the slow-motion replay completes.

Sophomoric humor dominates the movie and the actors try things that normal television ratings would never allow. Falling isn't the only source of the dangerous stunts that occur throughout the movie. Poo jokes are often followed by actual defecation, streaking through dangerous areas provides far more of a view of the naked bodies of the boys involved in the filmmaking than most viewers may be comfortable with, and the squeamish may not be able to handle some of the more painful close-ups. The movie's ability to go farther with its jokes than it could for the television series may be a flaw in its design, as many movie-goers may be off-put by gore or grotesquerie for its own sake.

The choice to turn to three-dimensional entertainment for the delivery of this film pays off time and time again. Throughout the film, the actors seem to fall right into the audience or send waves of disgusting material flowing freely into the audience. Audience members are likely to flinch, dodge, bob and weave more than once over the course of the film, and should find such sequences far more fun in 3D.

Some of the film's best moments seem to come when the cast is unaware of the consequences. Everyone knows that an alligator snapping turtle has jaws of steel, but how do they compare with one of the actor's buns of steel? It's a question that finds an answer in a particularly humorous and painful moment of the movie. Highlights such as this scene stand out from the more common events of stacking items and leaping, falling or otherwise attempting to traverse them without sustaining severe injury.

The camera angles and lighting in the film are always spot-on, whether capturing action from a Ferris wheel or multiple stories in the air on a mattress slide, and the filming keeps pace with the action without unnecessary jarring or special effects. No obvious special effects occur during the film, unless they're the direct result of one of the painful stunts or action sequences. This is in keeping with the feel of the television show and a form of honesty that fans of "Jackass" have come to expect from the cast and crew.

Real fun often comes in the form of moments that seem more reminiscent of a documentary than a comedy film. Unexpected events occur when cast members try to pin a tail on a real donkey or interact with those not in on the joke. These moments, when unscripted humor takes over, provide the punch of the film and allow yet another emotional hook for the audience. Movie-goers are likely to hold their breath in anticipation of the next moment, while cast members on the screen do exactly the same.

"Jackass 3D" brings the injuries and pain home and laughs them off along with the audience. This film is an excellent choice for a night out with friends.

Rating: 4 out of 5