“Hi, I’m Johnny Knoxville. Welcome to Jackass.”
Thus began the Jackass phenomenon. These immortal words ushered in a whole new world of painful opportunities. The MTV show that redefined the phrase “Don’t try this at home” is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a new film, Jackass 3-D.
The Jackass crew has been a part of growing up for many people of this generation. Their wild antics have entertained impressionable audiences for years. Some stunts were violent, some disgusting and others just plain fun to watch. In a world where you can’t count on much, it’s nice to depend on Jackass for its patented mindless fun. No matter how bad a mood someone is in, seeing a person get hit below the belt in creative ways is always pleasant to watch.
Ever since the first Jackass movie, the skits have been getting more extreme. Without having to worry about offending television audiences, Knoxville and his associates have the freedom to film new and creative ways of hurting themselves. The first film is relatively tame compared to the sequel. While the first Jackass film contained destruction and toy-car tomfoolery, the second one seemed downright suicidal.
Now that a third film is coming out this week with the now-overused 3-D gimmick, the antics can only be more insane. Each film, television show and project has gone further than the last. It will be safe to assume that the filmmakers will make the most out of the special effects and do things in 3-D that have never been seen before (and probably shouldn’t be seen at all).
While some may have been misguided enough to replicate some of the activities from Jackass, even a single iota of survival instinct should have prevented that. In the films, thankfully, the scenarios become more elaborate and less easy to replicate. Watching those idiots on the big screen should make for an enjoyable movie experience. The whole audience can laugh and groan together, uniting the packed theater in the spectacle that is Jackass.
Jackass is not high art. There is no artistic merit or deeper meaning. What the series stands for is the fun in stupidity. By performing these stunts, the crass entertain us and put their lives and souls on the line so viewers don’t have to try it at home.
Watching a semi-professional getting hurt is a lot better than peer-pressuring some kid from the neighborhood to try out homemade rocket skates. In a way, they are doing us a favor. They are angels of stupidity and self-inflicted harm.
Jackass 3-D premieres in theaters Oct. 15.