It’s been eight years since Johnny Knoxville and crew took Jackass from the small screen to our local cineplexes via Jackass: The Movie. That film grossed a staggering $79 million off a budget of only $5 million, and spawned Jackass Number Two, an equally successful 2006 film.
You might think that Knoxville & Co. had exhausted all possible ways to hit Knoxville in the balls, or force Steve-O eat some form of human or animal excretion. With the rise of 3D, however, the boys finally had the excuse to get together for one last, bigger-budget, money-making venture. Was it worth the wait?
Hit the jump for my thoughts and leave your own in the comments. SPOILERS (such as they are) lie after the jump.
It almost hurts me to write that Jackass 3D has one of the best uses of 3D I’ve seen in theaters this year. Director Jeff Tremaine and his crew developed a way to shoot 3D using Phanton high speed cameras, which record at the rate of 1,000 frames per second. The opening credits are shot in such a fashion and the results are spectacular, a vivid, colorful ecstasy of slow-motion violence and self-mutilation. While the 3D footage from the rest of the film can’t quite live up to this introduction, the 3D shit, paintballs, urine, and so forth are flung at the screen throughout the film with such force and bravado that one can’t help but have some visceral (usually sickened) reaction to it, which is more than I can say for the 3D in films like The Last Airbender or Clash of the Titans. In other words, the 3D in this film actually enhances its overall effect on you, a true fusion of medium and content.
There’s a moment towards the middle of Jackass 3D that illuminated for me precisely why this series holds so much appeal. The stunt is called something along the lines of “The Lamborghini Tooth Pull,” and Ehren McGhehey is slated to get a crooked tooth removed via a wire attached to a Lamborghini speeding away from him at 60+ miles per hour. The moment passes without incident, and McGhehey’s tooth is yanked without McGhehey’s ass even leaving the dentist chair he’s pinned to.
As McGhehey realizes his good fortune, tears well up in his eyes. This man has experienced a type of anticipatory trauma that few of us will ever have occasion to. Herein lies the appeal of Jackass. Like its “characters,” we as the audience often have no idea what will be the outcome of the next outlandish, and often creative, stunt. And when one of the Jackass crew completes it successfully, we experience their pure, unadulterated joy and relief. There’s no acting in these films, because these life-or-death situations are actually being inflicted upon these gentlemen. All that’s left is someone’s humanity, splayed out on screen for all to see.
But enough of my thoughts. Did you guys enjoy Jackass 3D? And what of the effectiveness of the 3D itself? Leave your thoughts below.