e second installment in the ‘Jackass’ movie franchise. Like any good display of envelope-pushing entertainment, the newest version must promise to and deliver a stronger dose of shock value, and luckily for the Jackass boys, they came through in proper idiotic fashion.
Any fan of the cult-series turned national phenomenon knows what to expect when familiar faces such as Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Bam Margera have cameras pointed in their general direction. Irreverence for both bodily safety and societal normalcy function as the running theme for the movie, which is more or less a collection of scenes depicting the luckiest frat boys in the world in their natural state. Anyone whose paycheck is derived by no less than animal semen drinking, anal beer-bonging and blind-folded bullfighting has got to be grateful there are enough masochistic voyeurs out there to purchase tickets.
Despite the low-brow nature of many of the stunts, the film does have one saving grace: it’s undeniably hilarious. Watching a display of foolish recklessness akin to the favored middle school query, ‘For a million dollars would you … ?’ has its highlights. While older generations may brand allowing a snake to bite your penis (appropriately dressed as a mouse) affixing leaches to your eyeball and dangling prosthetic testicles from gym shorts as obscene and repulsive, both popular sentiment and box office performance speaks otherwise.
Infantile humor isn’t the only trick up the sleeves of these aging (but definitely not maturing) cult icons. While previous television episodes and “Jackass: The Movie” featured mainly short-sighted, ‘kick-to-the-nuts’ prat humor, “Jackass 2: The Movie” appears to have allowed an adult sit around the production table while compiling scenes this time around. Elaborate stunts and complicated pranks within pranks show what a little creativity and bigger budget can do for a franchise based on bodily function humor as its strongest selling point.
Don’t expect an Academy nod for the So-Cal crew of anti-role models, but it’s evident that this was never their intention. Unless, of course, “Best Supporting Asshole” becomes a new category this year.