Jackass 3D

The lads make the very best of their new toys.

Gazing upon Jackass 3D in all of its vile, unadulterated, slow-motion, multi-dimensional glory is an experience akin to catching up with old school friends you haven’t seen in years. Older, balder and fatter they may be – perhaps even married with kids – but the juvenile playfulness that made the fun times precisely that still buzzes dimly, waiting for the right time to unleash itself, in a reunion. Jackass 3D, though in its comparative tameness to the previous films probably an indication that the gang are ready to hang up the spurs and rest easy, nevertheless milks the hilarity and the disgust of their shennanigans for all it is worth, and benefits from a surprisingly slick production.

Back with several-dozen more skits that test the human body’s capacity to withstand wild animals, cannonballs, and all manner of bodily fluids, Jackass 3D is nevertheless more successful as a technologically-enhanced paean to the crew’s collective efforts than as a hardcore, smashmouth exercise in brutality. The fun, ostensibly, has always been how good-natured it all has been, lacking the expected mean-spiritedness and always displaying an affable comraderie between the troops. We laugh not only because they’re idiots, but because their uproarious laughter at each other is infectious; it is precisely like watching friends making asses of themselves. That this is as present as ever is primarily why the otherwise one-note concept has not worn thin. That, and the fact that director Jeff Tremaine’s snappy editing keeps the thrills and spills coming thick and fast; as soon as something is no longer funny, it is cut.

Evident early on, inevitably to the disappointment of those expecting a go-around as taxing as the previous two films, is that we are observing an older, more tired group of man-children. Frequent glimpses of children, wives and girlfriends are pressing reminders that the gang have grown up and have other responsibilities. Furthermore, in order to respect Steve-O’s clean new lifestyle, alcohol was banned from the set, which can only be a bad thing.

Despite being notably toned down in terms of life-threatening stunts, Jackass 3D is still as revolting as anything, and perhaps even more disgusting than the previous two films. The infamous poo-mask skit from the previous film has been topped considerably by a revolting episode – again involving Preston Lacy – in which his sweat is collected and summarily consumed by Steve-O. Steve-O, perhaps keen to prove himself worthy despite his new lifestyle, also participates in the film’s gross climactic send-off, in which he is placed into a portable toilet filled with various forms of excrement which is then rocketed into the air by a gigantic bungee cord.

Still, the third Jackass film distinguishes itself as perhaps the most memorable because of its impressive technical presentation. Reportedly shot with cameras capable of capturing 1,000 frames per second (the same used for the superb opening credit sequence of Zombieland), every point of impact and every pained expression is captured in meticulously depraved detail, and though Tremaine makes heavy use of some stunning slow-motion, it never becomes a tired conceit.

The other innovation to speak of is the 3D which, while hardly utilised as its creators likely intended, adds a rank new dimension to precedings, and when combined with the super-slow-motion cameras, allows new, stomach-churning possibilities such as protracted, in-your-face showers of vomit, excrement and just about every other unsightly substance known to man.

Having run out of adjectives to describe quite how peurile Jackass 3D is, it follows that it really needs little introduction. It delivers pretty much what audiences both want and expect, with the added jolt of slow-motion and 3D to preserve things a little. When a film has the good taste to be introduced by Beavis and Butthead, what bad can really be said against it?.


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