MTV // 2009 // 244 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 8th, 2009
Don't try this at home.
The latest MTV original series that will almost certainly lead to bad decision-making by stupid, impressionable kids features adrenaline junkies performing death-defying stunts. And when I say "death-defying" I mean it, because some of the crap these guys attempt -- professional supervision or no -- should most definitely have ended in loss of life or limb.
But wow is it a good time. Produced by Johnny Knoxville and starring freestyle motocross demigod Travis Pastrano (the guy did a double back-flip on a dirt bike, which is just plum ridiculous), Nitro Circus features Pastrano and his extreme pals traveling to different locales and throwing down some serious daredevilry.
Comparisons to Jackass are expected, but the stuff on display here is substantially more involved than getting peed on by an elephant or running around naked in broad daylight. These are legitimate stunts, the kind of old-school jumping, flipping, and gasoline-powered tomfoolery Evel Knievel would be proud of.
Some of the shenanigans going down: crossover jumping, a street motorcycle backflip, an ill-advised attempt to flip a monster truck, base-jumping off hotels and the tallest building in Latin America, leaping out of an airplane without a parachute, hydroplaning across a pool, minibike racing, an RV demolition derby, long-distance tricycle jumping (that was particularly insane), a downhill Big Wheels race, and a whole lot more. These guys make sure you'll get 24 minutes worth of insanity in each episode, and they pretty much deliver. If stunt-based entertainment is your bag, then you really must take a look at Nitro Circus: Season One.
However, going back to the Jackass comparison, there is one major aspect where Nitro Circus falls short -- the hosts' personalities. They all seem like good people with enough energy to power the entire Eastern Seaboard. Plus, there's that small detail of them being professional extreme sports dudes. But they lack the memorable charisma of the Johnny Knoxville and his crew. Speaking of whom...a few of the old-timers show up for several events, but their visits are short-lived.
The DVDs are disappointing in the technical department. The 2.0 stereo mix is fine and video quality is good enough, but the fake widescreen is a big no-no and shockingly anachronistic. Extras: 25 minutes worth of bonus stunt footage, outtakes, interviews, and a Dropkick Murphys music video.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 244 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Music Video