Take film number 3, add in a dimension to make it 3D and you have a true mess-terpiece.
According to the news, this film earned $50 million in its opening weekend which apparently gives it the distinction of being the most successful Fall opening. It has surpassed the grosses of the first 2 Jackass movies and with a budget of $20 million, it would seem that the film has already earned a profit. Rotten Tomatoes ranked it at 70%.
But dear reader, you’re wondering what my take on it was. Now keep in mind, this is the perspective of a 58 year old male. I think Richard Roeper of Ebert & Roeper, the film critics summed it up best when he reviewed the very first Jackass film by calling it "the feel-sick movie of the year". I sit here mulling over being 18; how did I think; what did I think, etc. It was a different world with a completely different perspective on life and a completely different set of values.
About half way through the film, I realised I wasn’t laughing. Thinking of the slapstick pranks of the 3 Stooges, I imagine I should have been laughing but I wasn’t. This reminds me of my take on the humour of Monty Python; humour which is completely based on the "absurd". I have discovered over the years in talking about Monty Python with various people that you either think it is hilarious or you think it’s stupid. You either "get it" or you don’t. There is no middle ground.
I guess I didn’t get it. I found some of the more dangerous stunts represented a risk for which these people were unprepared. While the opening and closing of the film had a warning about not trying this at home, these stunts were performed by professionals; I have to doubt the use of the word "professional". Getting butted by a steer? Mr. Knox was just plain lucky he didn’t get himself gored. Getting kicked by a donkey? A hoof to the head could have killed that one guy. Jump over a stream on a mini-cycle? Did anybody calculate the velocity necessary to accomplish this? Judging by the dismal failure, I guess not. "Professional" stunt people plan a stunt with 2 objectives in mind. First of all, nobody gets hurt. Secondly, the stunt succeeds.
Considering the nutty stuff I may have tried over the years… okay when I was younger, much younger, I had the overwhelming impression in watching the movie that these were things that fall into the category of party pranks which are more fun to do then to watch. It is more fun to talk about them, to recount what so and so did at Saturday night’s party because he was half in the bag and being an idiot. But an hour and a half film of this? Jackass is the epitome of the unplanned, possibly confused idea of a drunken frat boy looking to impress the crowd and maybe gross out the girls.
My eldest daughter and her husband went and saw Jackass 2 a couple of years ago. She told me about the "sock puppet". This seemed to impress her in a gross way so sometime later, when the film was on TV, I taped it then watched about the first 15 minutes that is up until the sock puppet prank. Who came up with this idea? If I sat in a room by myself and creatively tackled the issue of pulling a prank, I’m not too sure I would have ever thought of doing that.
One of the male cast members puts a sock puppet on his member. He then sticks this through a hole, much like a glory hole (I’m not explaining that one. Go look it up in Urban Dictionary) which leads into a glass enclosed terrarium that has a snake in it. I forget which kind of snake. In any case, our hero shakes his… ah, puppet in front of the snake with the eventual result that the snake lashes out and bites the sock pocket. We all are delighted and amused by the yelps of pain coming from the owner of the… ah, sock puppet. Am I getting old? Am I already too old? I watched this and said to myself, "So?" I found no entertainment value in that at all. [sigh] My goodness, have I turned into my parents? [laughs] I’m no longer "getting it". Ah, the price one pays when one moves from being 28 to being 58. Ha!
That pretty much sums it all up. Why? Why do this? Was it entertaining? Was I entertained? I could be at a high school party on a Saturday night with a bunch of louts drunk out of their minds doing a series of completely dumbass stuff because the higher functions of their cerebral cortex has been disabled due to chugging a keg followed by jello shots. Been there, done that.
America has paid to watch a movie about stupid things that we’ve all done in one form or another. Johnny and the crew are being fêted by the media for being lewd, crude and rude. The volcano? The bungee port-o-potty? In my blog My 15 Minutes I talk about Andy Warhol saying that we will all be famous for 15 minutes. I said that I hoped my 15 would be for something good and not for something dumb. I would not want a role in a Jackass film. Johnny and the boys may be famous right now but let’s remember for what. This stuff is the stuff of a keg party. This is the stuff which is fun to do at the time but is best forgotten come Monday morning.
I trust that everybody at Saturday’s party was too drunk to remember exactly what stupid things I did and I certainly hope somebody didn’t have a cell phone camera. Hmmm, I better get on Facebook and YouTube and check the latest postings. My 15 minutes may have already started and I don’t even know it. 🙂
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Rotten Tomatoes: Jackass 3D: 70%
Wikipedia: Jackass 3D