Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Jack Ass 3
By Alan Bacchus
Qualifying this film as a documentary stretches and likely ‘insults’ the genre a bit. Well, I can’t really say, ‘glorified reality-show’, ‘you-tube feature’, or ‘home movie’. Maybe the catch-all genre of ‘special interest’ from the Best Buy DVD shelves works best.
Like the first film, Jack Ass 3 features a fantastic opening credit sequence, shot in feature quality spectacle, high definition resolution, a slo-motion montage of carnage which serves to introduce us to the Jack Ass group. I appreciate these sequences, which look difficult to choreograph and demonstrate some showmanship worthy of the big screen. The filmmakers clearly have no intention to sit on their laurels and deliver what we could have seen on the small screen.
Perhaps Jack Ass was always meant for the big screen, arguably the film is enhanced not so much by the 3-D treatment, but the communal experience of laughing at and being reviled by the impressive grotesqueness on display. On DVD and Blu-Ray where we can only view the film now, much is lost.
That said, I still laughed my ass off throughout.
The usual suspects are back Johnny Knoxville, who must be in his forties yet still wrestling wild animals and getting his balls knocked around for our enjoyment. The really hardcore guy is Steve-O who takes the worst knocks, including the awe inspiring final stunt, where he sits in a port-o-potty and gets bungied into the air, with the contents well... you get the point. There’s also Bam Margera whose running joke of his parents’ involvement continues, though with dimishing returns. Chris Pontius who specializes in penis stunts is also back. The little-person Wee Man exploits his short stature for some dwarf-hilarity and for Dave England who always seemed the ‘weakest’ of the bunch, the distress caused by his stunts arguably provides the most laughs.
While most of everything scores, the lamest sequences of the bunch continues to be Johnny Knoxville’s public pranks as the old man in the wheelchair. The most squeemish stunt arguably is Ehren McGehey’s Lamborgini Tooth Pull, which has a string tied to both McGehey’s loose tooth and the bumper of the Italian sportscar. I couldn’t look at the screen for that one.
Whatever we classify these films as, they are still supremely entertaining. They work for two fundamental reasons 1) the characters are supremely engaging and entertaining personalities. My friends couldn't do the same stunts and pull off something worthy of a 90mins feature film which makes $100million at the box office. 2) These guys tap into some kind of latent childhood need and desires of our own to test the limits of our own bodies. Somewhere, deep down inside us, we can relate the curiosity of what it would be like to have to someone crazyglue someone else's hand to your own hairy chest, or beard, or ass. I guess it was called 'dare' back in the day. Jack Ass is like an extreme version of dare, in which we can live vicariously through these Jack Ass guys who have balls of steel and would just about do anything for a buck.
From Paramount Home Entertainment Jack Ass 3 is available in old-fashioned/dual-coloured glasses 3D on DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as traditional 2D. But after having those awful Red and Blue glasses on your face for 5mins, you’ll quickly switch over to the 2D version.