Combustible Celluloid
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With: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Eric André, Machine Gun Kelly, Chris Pontius, Rachel Wolfson, Jeff Tremaine, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, Tyler the Creator
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
MPAA Rating: R for strong crude material and dangerous stunts, graphic nudity and language throughout
Running Time: 96
Date: 02/04/2022

Jackass Forever (2022)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Scavenger Stunts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Aside from some new cast members, and some gray hair in the old ones, not much has changed here; there's some funny slapstick, but also fear, pain, cruelty, nausea, and ugly examples of peer pressure. The fifth theatrical Jackass movie — counting Bad Grandpa (2013) — Jackass Forever comes twenty years after the first movie, and if these guys haven't learned a lesson by now, they're never going to.

Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Wee Man, and the rest of the old crew return, along with some new cast members, to try some new dumb stunts, and revisit a few of the older ones. They form human ramps, try to survive a dark room with a rattlesnake in it, attempt a giant waterslide, play musical chairs, try to fly, attempt to march on a moving treadmill, attempt a triple wedgie, and ride the Vomitron! They also re-attempt the one stunt they have so far never been able to crack: lighting a fart on fire underwater.

For every expertly-timed comic pratfall, there's a moment when a performer is clearly in pain or discomfort, and crying out to quit, but peer pressured into doing more. It's hard to laugh when the performer is screaming "it hurts!"

One of the guests, the father of one of the new cast members, known as "Dark Shark," frowns at one of the stunts (a vulture plucking meat from Wee Man's crotch), saying, "Stop... don't do that." Sometimes performers are even enraged at just how far, how excessive, the pranks have gone, made worse by the raucous laughter of their fellows.

These sequences, which make up perhaps a little more than half of Jackass Forever, outweigh the funny stuff, which is, admittedly, genuinely funny. This team scored a win with Bad Grandpa, which neatly combined stunts and pranks within a genuinely fun, sweet story. It's too bad that they had to go back to this segmented reality-show format. Longtime fans will be pleased, at least, which says... something. The guys are a little older, and with fewer teeth, but they are certainly not wiser.

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