It's time to strap in, put on your 3D glasses, and overt your eyes because Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Bam Margera and the gang are back to turn your stomachs and make you pee your pants laughing.
It's been four years since Jackass 2 and the real question is with a bigger budget does this group of misfits still have what it takes? The answer is yes. Jackass 3D gives you what you expect, but unfortunately not much more than that. Sure the movie made me and the rest of a sold out theatre laugh out loud for most of its 93 minutes, but I couldn't help the feeling that I'd seen it all before.
With this newest installment of Jackass being partially filmed in 3D you can bet it wasn't James Cameron that lent them the cameras. Knoxville and company use the 3D to their advantage with some pretty inventive and sick concepts on more than one occasion, yet the rest of the material seems a little too recycled for my liking. For instance, there are four different skits where some kind of farm animal runs and hits someone. It's the same gag but with a bull, a ram, a pig and some bison. It's not to say that they weren't funny each time but after a while it started to feel like I was just watching old YouTube clips.
But the guys did come up with some new amusing ideas. Some of the best of these fresh twisted ideas include: 'The Sweat-Suit Cocktail', 'The High Five', 'Duck Hunting' and 'Bee Tetherball'. The most entering skit for me isn't the funniest of the film, but it's one of their more original ides, when they re-create the old Maxell Tape ad with the guy sitting in a chair being blown back by the enormous blast of sound from his stereo. This time instead of giant stereo speakers these guys are able to use a parked jet airplane as their massive blasting force. The ensuing gags are absolutely outstanding.
Don't let the novelty of the 3D effects raise your expectations and you should still like this film. With 3D cameras still being new and very pricey pieces of equipment they are only used for the more careful and contained stunts because of the mayhem and mess these stunts usually leave behind. Since the Jackass team is at their best when performing unpredictable pranks, regular film cameras are used instead of the 3D ones. And they do just fine. I don't know how much 3D technology will add to a person who can fart on command. Still, it would have been spectacular to see them put a million dollar camera inside a 'full' port-a-potty being launched from bungee cords with Steve-O inside.
If you and your buddies haven't already seen Jackass 3D at this point you probably should if you liked the first two. Knoxville, Steve-O, and everyone else can still take the punishment years later even if they can't quite top the hilarious havoc from 4 years ago. With today's instant access to every gnarly and outrageous video you can think of on the web, Jackass has lost a bit of its shock value over the years.
Still, as the end credits roll, and old clips are shown from years gone by, you can't help but feel a little nostalgic. It looks like this will be the final chapter of Jackass after more than ten years of pranks, stunts, and vomiting. We say goodbye to the group that started it all with just a video camera and a dumb idea. And we thank them for the memories.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.