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Review: 'Jackass Forever' (2022) Dir. Jeff Tremaine

Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Danger Ehren and Wee Man

 

From humble video camera origins as a reality stunt show in 2000, a number of feature films brings us to this; the latest big-screen outing for our gross but lovable Jackass jackasses...


A decade after we last saw Johnny Knoxville and co in Jackass 3D, we return a little older and less wiser for more outrageous pranks, stunts and extreme risks to the body and mind, all in the name of entertainment.


With old faces back for more and a few new victims joining the team, nothing is off limits including tackling wild beasts of nature, experimenting with the human body and pushing the laws of physics and biology to breaking point...

The Jackass franchise is one based on idiocy, but grown from one simple idea - to entertain the common man (and woman). Evolving from the early 2000s with hand-held cameras, a cast of then unknowns and next to no budget, fast forward a number of huge TV shows, feature films, spin-offs and streaming content, and you see why Jackass truly is forever as it presents the fourth cinematic outing in its 22nd year.


Director and series co-creator Jeff Tremaine works with his head honchos Knoxville and Spike Jonze to create gross-out stunts, pranks and general idiocy with our regular cast who as familiar to fans as family, growing with them and their exploits for over two decades. And this is the core of what Jackass is all about, and why it has endured. No matter where you are, what you do or how you fit into modern society, seeing the likes of series regular Steve-O take a beating to his balls in the name of entertainment is always going to make you laugh (and wince). You feel their pain, you know how much they push themselves and it only adds to the charm of things.

Jackass is about the friends you can call your family. A close knit group who put their lives (often) on the line to give you a good time, but who you always care about and love because we've come to understand and respect these lunatics.

Tremaine and Knoxville unite the original team - minus Bam Margera and the late Ryan Dunn - with a few new faces to help keep things fresh. We have MTV stunt performers Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Rachel Wolfson and Eric Manaka. We also have the likes of Sean "Poopies" McInerney, but sadly he's one of the most irritating newbies to grace the screen and he sometimes feel a little too desperate for Jackass fame to be taken seriously. Still, the new blood get involved when they can, but it's the main gang we are here for and they don't dissapoint.


Maybe a little older and a little - be it a LITTLE - bit more careful in what they do, the team don't hold back even during a pandemic, but they do adhere to all social distancing and face mask precautions because at the end of the day these guys ARE professionals. Got to love 'em. Be ready for lots of flacid penises flapping around, the odd fart and follow-through, puking, punching, bone breaking, slapping, swearing, falling, bleeding, puncturing...you name it, they do it. But even after twenty years of stunts and pranks, we still get flashes of innovative ideas among the more familiar.

Danger Ehren steps up more this time and really bears the worst of it, testing out groin cups and staring down a bear whilst tied to a chair and covered in salmon. As said, you know this is all 100% for real and you feel as sick as they do with nerves, but hidden behind the laughter and amusement seeing them sweat and swear in sheer panic! And cinematography from Dimitry Elyashkevich and his team use slow-motion to THE best effect in the movies here!


But it's not just 90mins of pratfalls. We have those moments where the gang interject with their own on-set commentary, pranks and reflections on what they see. One such instance is when a stunt with Knoxville taking on a raging bull doesn't quite go to plan and we feel as much concern and pain as his friends, but always chuckle when one makes an amusing quip as Knoxville lies dazed in a neck-brace. Not all the gags and goofs may hit the comic highs, but then it's always subjective and what ticks your boxes. One such wasted opportunity was sending the film out on a high with the stunt "Vomatron", but it sadly fails to live up to the opening premise and sends the film out on a little fizzle.


This is a film for fans. Nobody else. The wheel is not reinvented and it's as outrageous as it was back when the series began in 2000. Yes, there is a little more control and some may say maturity to their stunts now, but they aren't slowing down with what they do just because they're a little older. You can't help but admire these idiots, because deep down you wish you had the guts to face what they do!


And that's what it's all about. Sharing laughter with these cinematic friends and exploring a great amount of trust, respect and honesty. Or maybe just wanting to see how many times Chris Pontius can comically abuse his knob over the course of the film. Either or.

The team are back to make you laugh and give you a good time. It's a serious world we live in now, so escape it for 90mins with the Jackass crew we've come to love over twenty years. Prepare yourself; it's a wild, dangerous, bloody and somewhat sentimental ride!





'Jackass Forever' is a co-production between MTV Entertainment Studios, Dickhouse Productions and Gorilla Flicks


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