Despite all the stunts, pranks and violent mayhem on show in Jackass Forever, there is something fundamentally sweet about this group of idiots getting back together for one final rodeo. The crew is the same, largely, and some of the stunts call back to the earlier films in the series. But apart from the laughs, of which there are many, it is the sight of Johnny Knoxville and co getting back together to hurt each other in endlessly uneventful ways that strangely warms your heart.
It’s 20 years since the first Jackass film was released and even longer since the television show first aired on MTV and made stars of Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Wee Man. Now, the majority of the films cast are in their fifties, still living life by the balls and coming across as older if not any wiser. In fact, some of the stunts they perform and the pranks they pull on one another, one could argue that they have in fact become more stupid. This is exemplified in scenes where they tirelessly beat their balls (not like that), expose their cocks (just like that), and put themselves in immense physical danger.
There is no plot to Jackass Forever, it barely constitutes being called a film, but it is utterly delightful. The crew have been together long enough now that all their mickey-taking is never mean-spirited or harmful. Their unique sense of humour and comradeship is shown in several moments, and despite them pushing themselves to their physical limit, Johnny Knoxville calmly calls out “that’s enough, you’re done” to end one persons punishment, while the man himself ends hospitalised after taking a huge bump from a bull. There are new members added to the group. Jasper Dolphin and Zach Holmes add a youthful exuberance, not that any were needed, and Rachel Wolfson makes her debut and has the honour of being the first female Jackass performer.
At 96 minutes long, their stay is brief but memorable. I’m still giggling now at some scenes, and wincing at others. Why anyone would put their testicles in harms way like that is beyond me. But maybe that’s why Jackass works. Like the horror genre, Jackass allows you to experience pain and high stakes body damage without actually getting yourself hurt. It’s big, dumb and full of cum (literally), and it’s one of the sweetest films to be released this year.
Jackass Forever is available on DVD and Blu-ray from 2 May.
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