It’s stupid, it’s puerile, it’s beloved by the sort of people who buy Limp Bizkit records – critiquing the Jackass series isn’t so much like shooting fish in a barrel, but putting dynamite under said barrel and blowing it into the middle of next week. Which come to think of it, is a stunt I’m sure I saw the collective perform sometime around about series two…
That said, there’s always been something I’ve found quite endearing about the antics of Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius and co. Perhaps it’s the groups early beginnings as the editorial team of Big Brother magazine – a sort of skateboarding obsessed prototype Vice. Maybe it’s that the camaraderie of the people involved – think Friends with dick jokes – is endearing enough to drag you from skit to skit without the need for any semblance of plot. Or maybe it’s just that I sorta like dick jokes if I’m being honest.
Or, maybe it’s that I can’t help thinking that anything that pisses as many people off as the series did upon it’s arrival ten years ago most likely contains something a little punk rock at the core of its spirit – even if it’s just the Minutemen composed theme.
At it’s best Jackass is populist entertainment in the vein of the late, great daredevil Evel Knievel – only stripped of any budget and with shopping trolleys and garage forecourts in place of motorbikes and Snake River canyon. At it’s worst it’s an insight into the most inane recesses of the male psyche – shit, spunk, gags involving people being hit with baseballs in the dick…
Truth be told, there’s more of the shows worst traits showcased in the third movie than there are its best, yet there’s enough contained therein to make you think that the world will be a little bit duller and little bit more boring come the end of its (slightly overlong) running time (the film is said to be the outfit’s swansong – at least until showrunner Knoxville fails to land the legitimate film roles he craves and they reunite for another outing).
It’s also fair to say that it’s unlikely William Friese Green imagined his 3D viewing system would be utilised to fire dildos out of cinema screens when he patented the first device in 1894, yet the 3D serves the stunts well, and features the return of the forever missed Beavis and Butthead at the start of the film to tee up what the viewer is about to see.
Like I said, that’s principally shit, spunk and the sort of japes all concerned are probably getting a little bit old for. But something of an anarchic spirit worth celebrating too, no matter how small and no matter how puerile.