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The Independent Critic

Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera
Jeff Tremaine
Preston Lacy
Rated R
94 Mins.
Paramount Pictures
(Single Disc & Unrated Editions)
MTV Making Of Special;Outtakes;Deleted Scenes;Time Magazine Trailer

 "Jackass 3D" Review 
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Have I become morally bankrupt?

How else can I explain my ever increasing fondness for the man-children from the Jackass films? Having thoroughly trashed the original film as completely lacking in entertainment value and being socially irresponsible, my journey with co-stars Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Bam Margera has come full circle as I found myself sitting in front of the 3-D version presentation of their third feature film to date laughing like a schoolboy and experiencing an almost painful glee as I watched their antics come to life as never before.

Rather than a cheap gimmick, 3-D actually enhances the Jackass experience for those who actually dare. Judging from the opening weekend box-office receipts of right around $50 million for the $20 million film, quite a few of you dare.

The same part of me that absolutely adored Knoxville in The Ringer is the part of me that appreciates Jackass 3D, a film that is filled with absolutely relentless, testosterone-driven lunacy with a core of stereotypical male bonding and a surprising amount of effective, well constructed humor.

Was this not present in the original Jackass? Have I gone completely mad? Is Jackass actually the idiot's version of Fight Club and I'm just now starting to get it?

Somebody. Please. Help. Me.

Jackass 3D is just as out of control, just as painful, just as idiotic and just as, well, "offensive" as the original film if you're the type of person who finds the idea of a midget superglued to a fat guy offensive. The weird thing is, even beyond the fact that everyone participating is likely paid quite handsomely, one gets the feeling that neither the midget nor the fat guy particularly minded and, in some psychotic version of the faux masculine universe, these guys actually thrive on these types of experiences.

As relentlessly crude and cruel as these larger than life gags are, there's something here with which men and women alike identify that keeps us coming back for more. These are the friends of our youth and young adult years, the only catch being that these guys are older now and still acting the same way while we've moved on, gotten jobs, supposedly matured and wouldn't quite dream of allowing someone to take a baseball bat to our crotch.

Okay, actually I would. I am paralyzed, after all. What would it matter? I can't feel the dang thing anyway.

These guys are the taunting yet fiercely loyal friends we've kind of always wanted in our lives... the kind of friends who would be right beside us in the jail cell going "That was f***in' awesome."

The film's 3-D presentation is simply awesome, adding an anxiety inducing freak out quality to the experience that is made even more impactful by director Jeff Tremaine's occasional slo-mo repeat of some of the more pain inducing physical stunts.

Jackass 3D features a sprinkling of cameos including producer Spike Jonze, a newbie going by Will the Farter, indie-folkster Will Oldham, actor Seann William Scott, Tony Hawk and others. As could be expected from a guys gone nuts free for all, Jackass 3D is rated R with plenty of swinging schlong and full frontal stunts that we've come to expect from this crew.

Have I become morally bankrupt?

Nah. Maybe I've just realized that I really am a jackass.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic