I reluctantly and shamefully admit the following: I am a huge fan of “Jackass.”
The ultimate testament to stupid human tricks, the MTV show documents a bunch of aging skater punks and lovably sick and twisted degenerates as they execute extremely stupid and often dangerous stunts, gags and shticks. Just a few of the tamer examples include diving head-first into a kiddie pool filled with elephant shit, swallowing and then puking back up a goldfish, high-velocity shopping-cart crashes and shooting oneself with a Taser gun.
“Jackass” is the epitome of asinine — the pure, undiluted essence of lowbrow humor. It’s moronic, highly disgusting and frequently shocking — and if you “get it,” painfully, outrageously funny.
That said, jackass the movie can be neatly summed up in one pithy sentence: If you like the show, you’ll love the movie; if you hate the show, you won’t make it past the first 20 minutes.
The film follows the same format as the TV show, only this time the censors are off and “Jackass” ringleader Johnny Knoxville and his band of merry misfits really go for broke. No orifice is safe and no bodily fluids are spared. The film literally crosses the line of gross-out humor, to the point where two camera operators actually vomited during filming — and of course it’s all documented in graphic Technicolor glory. A strong warning to anyone with even a marginally weak stomach: This film is not for you.
But for fans of the show, the film delivers an enormous, uh, package. With the exception of a hysterical, tongue-in-cheek opening sequence, the “Jackass” crew has thankfully avoided the trappings of a huge Hollywood budget. Instead, Knoxville and company have stuck with the simple, low-budget formula that works best: a bunch of knuckle-dragging daredevils shoving inanimate objects where they don’t belong, deviously pranking innocent bystanders, and bruising, spraining and concussing themselves silly.
Simplicity is truly a beautiful thing.
Sarah Klein is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.