Paramount // 2011 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // June 10th, 2011
The Unrated Movie.
You know by now whether you like Jackass or not. The only question is: do the boys still have the ability to shock anymore? That would be a yes, well, sorta. Maybe.
C'mon, you know the score by now. Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Wee Man, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, and their equally demented buddies set about pulling off ridiculous stunts, and putting their bodies though hell, all for the sake of a good laugh.
Following the release of Jackass 3D, it was evident there was enough footage for a second film, and so Jackass 3.5 was born.
Jackass 3.5 (Blu-ray) opens with Steve-O having a snapping turtle attaching itself to his backside, which -- considering this is coming from a guy who has previously scrambled across a tightrope above an alligator pit, with raw chicken hanging from his pants -- seems just a little, well, tame. Sure, I wouldn't much care for a turtle to take a bite out of my ass, but we've come to expect more of these guys, Steve-O in particular. With that in mind, let us cut to the chase: Jackass 3.5 is the poor relation of Jackass 3D, and the franchise in general. Lacking the big stunts, and thus the big laughs of its predecessor -- there's nothing to top Dave England's erupting volcano of excrement, for example -- Jackass 3.5 is really an extended collection of outtakes that hit with varying degrees of success. Even more disappointingly some of these gags, such as "The Invisible Wee," are simply less effective retreads of existing skits; in this case Knoxville's "The Invisible Man" from Jackass 3D.
"The Blow-Back" is typical of this underwhelming trend, as the stunt -- which is as pointless as it is unfunny -- drags on endlessly, despite even the cast and crew acknowledging its lameness. About half the stunts in Jackass 3.5 are similarly disappointing, and simply go nowhere. This list includes:
* "Cock Rocket" -- Ryan Dunn, with assistance from Chris Pontius, fires a crotch-mounted rocket into the awaiting butt crack of Bam Margera. After several false starts, the rocket finally hits home, but needn't have bothered.
* "Enema Long Jump" -- Much potential here, as some of the boys receive an enema before attempting the long jump. Clearly both the participants and the audience are expecting -- nay, hoping -- for projectile defecation from the airborne athletes. Shame it doesn't quite go down like that then.
* "Winter Fat Fucks" -- If you've seen the Fat Fucks skateboarding, you can be pretty sure you're not going to see too much new when they take to skiing. (Now, do I make a joke about the boys taking the piste?)
On it goes, with Dave England's base jumping from a horse, and Spike Jonze's camel toe gag also offering little, despite being given a significant amount of the 84-minute running time.
Still, there are two things that almost redeem Jackass 3.5. The first of these is the camaraderie the boys share. Having been a fan of Jackass from the start, I'm glad to see how these friendships have remained strong, despite some of the horrors they have inflicted upon each other. There's clearly a little more trepidation shown by the crew this time out -- as was noted in Jackass 3D -- and there's a genuine concern shown by Knoxville and Co. both before and after some of the more risky stunts. The second redeeming factor is the spark of genius that we get on a few rare occasions. Chris Pontius, in a stunt that sees him literally putting his manhood on the line, slips his member inside a wooden strap-on, before a woodpecker goes to town on it. What makes the sketch so funny is Pontius's reaction when the bird breaks through the wood and takes a shot as his dong. Rather than scream and run in fear, Pontius shows more concern for the bird, and quietly exhibits total panic that he's about to be punctured. "Slip 'n' Bowl" sees the boys dressed as bowling pins, standing on a surface covered in lubricant. The idea behind the sketch is for one of the crew to come down a large slide and knock the "pins" down, except the whole thing is a ruse. Once the boys are on the floor, Knoxville unleashes his paintball-firing remote control helicopter, blasting away at his victims who writhe around helplessly in the lube. Throw in "Fart Darts," Dunn and Margera's revenge on Knoxville, and the simply amazing "Incredible Nut Shots," and there's probably just about enough here to justify a purchase for diehard fans of Jackass.
The Blu-ray (which is exclusive to Best Buy) comes with a number of special features, most of which are standard fare, such as "Jackass European Tour" (6:27), which offers a short behind the scenes on the European promotion of Jackass 3D; also included are a selection of outtakes (19:50) and deleted scenes (16:37). Standing out though is the "Jackass: The Beginning" (40:46) documentary, which details the birth, rise to fame, and continuing success of the series. Features interviews and classic clips, this retrospective is a fun and engaging addition to the main feature.
Presented in a 1.78:1 1080p transfer, Jackass 3.5 is a good-looking Blu-ray. Colors are excellent, while the picture is sharp throughout with good levels of detail, regardless of lighting conditions (which do vary from one stunt to the next). The 5.1 DTS-HD soundtrack also impresses, with dialogue, effects, and the numerous rock tunes which make up the soundtrack, all sounding great.
I'll leave it to Chris Pontius to sum up Jackass 3.5: "I feel sorry for you guys. So much pain for so little payoff."
For the diehards only.
Review content copyright © 2011 Paul Pritchard; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes