Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jackass Number Two

(The following review will be published in Issue II of The Chronicle)

I took great pride in the fact that I’d never seen the Jackass TV show. When all my friends in high school would go on and on about it, I always felt a slight sense of superiority.

Well, I felt it was time to get over myself and go see Jackass Number Two (justifying it by publishing this review). I went out and bought the first movie to prepare myself for the sequel but mostly because it came with a free movie pass.

After all that though, I was still not prepared for what I witnessed. In fact, I strongly believe that having now seen this movie I’m still not sure I’m prepared to see it.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so continuously horrified, offended and sickened. There were two specific scenes (though I’m not going to tell you which in order to keep this spoiler-free) where I did gag and almost threw up.

There was a scene at the beginning where my 250-pound male friend was so terrified at what he was witnessing that he grabbed onto my arm, screaming, until my hand went numb.

But I could not stop laughing.

Even while I was gagging I was laughing – which certainly made matters worse. I can’t even tell you how funny this movie was without saying something extremely cliché such as: “This was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.” Which, I’m sorry to say, it was.

Comparing this movie to the first one, I have to say the second is faster paced. The stunts/pranks don’t go on for as long, so you never get bored and in between everything are small vignettes of the Jackass boys (Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Brandon DiCamillo, Preston Lacy, and Jason "Wee-Man" Acuña) doing something even dumber and funnier than what you just saw.

It never lets up and once we got to the ending I felt a great sense of disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to see any more of the stupidity.

I mean, what else would you call piercing your own cheek with a fishhook and then jumping into water teeming with man-eating sharks (oops, was that a spoiler?) if not sheer, absolute and unbelievable stupidity?

And I loved it! Oh forgive me mom, I loved every terrible second.

One thing I can’t wrap my head around though, is how the Jackass boys actually remain friends. Their favourite pastime seems to be hitting each other in the balls when it’s least expected. I am positive that whenever they sleep in close quarters they lay awake terrified by what their ‘friends’ might be planning.

There were two scenes where their friendship really came into question. Two pranks on Margera and McGhehey were so terrible that they actually started crying.

And may god have mercy on my soul, I was still laughing.

Strangely enough, I still felt my sense of superiority. I couldn’t help but think that not only had I not paid money to watch this, but I was a better human being than these boys in almost every way. From the way they treated each other, to the stupid things they did to themselves and the fact that they let people film it.

I do have to give them kudos though, for the simple fact that although they might be doing this for money, they’re also doing it for the enjoyment of bored people such as me. There are not a lot of people out there risking life and limb (and friendship) just to get people to laugh.

Maybe that isn’t actually something they can be proud of, but I’m still thankful and I’m sure everyone else (not including the humourless) who sees this will be too.

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