Theatrical Review: Jackass 3D

After Piranha 3D came out, director James Cameron derided the movie in the press (without seeing it first). He called it an example of the type of movie that’s currently giving 3D movies a bad name, of course conveniently forgetting to mention obvious tacked-on 3D movies like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender. How dare they use the new technology that he pioneered for such a gimmicked up piece of trash (in his unseeing eyes, I loved Piranha 3D).

I can only imagine what he’ll say once he finds out that his precious tech has been used to film a scene in which Chris Pontius’ private part is tethered to a radio controlled helicopter…

Johnny Knoxville and his band of friends are back to use and abuse the new technology with their own particular brand of humor with Jackass 3D and I have to say, I had a great deal of fun with it. 3D’s not the only thing they’re using in their new movie though, the Jackass guys are also now using high-speed filming to help them dramatically make greater effect with their 3D.

If Cameron was dead, he’d be turning over in his grave… and I’d say roll on over, Jimmy!

I love these movies and laugh harder here than what I would with most scripted attempts at film comedy, especially these days. They’re unabashedly stupid, but fun times owing to Tex Avery, Looney Tunes and the Three Stooges. And they’re made even more inviting by the obvious camaraderie that these guys share.

Like the other Jackass movies, this one has both it’s highs and lows with it’s best moments being it’s spectacular opening and closing scenes and just about anything that Steve-O is a part of. Oh, all of the guys are fun to watch in action, but with Steve-O there’s just a little something extra here, especially with his nervous anticipation of the torture that he’s about to put himself through. One of the better examples being “Tee Ball” where Mr. O is about to have his own take with America’s pasttime and the film’s final stunt before it’s close, involving Steve-O, a port-a-potty and some bungie cables.

At the same time though, these guys are getting older and a little chunkier (exceptions being Knoxville and Steve-O who seem fitter and trimmer than ever) and it’s a little apparent on-screen. Oh sure, they’re still having their fun, but it’s a little more hesitant than what it was before.

The 3D is pretty good, though it’s not entirely necessary for your enjoyment. It certainly adds to what goes on and I’d recommend it, but only mildly. To their credit though, this isn’t as augmented as what it would be for a high end effects-driven movie. Knoxville, producer Spike Jonze and director Jeff Tremaine have opted for it to be used more naturally with the only augmentation being the scenes where they’re mixing both the 3D and the high-speed photography.

It’s fun stuff, purely designed to be a party at the theatre. Of course it’s not for everybody, but if you don’t mind letting your hair down to watch live-action cartoon set pieces, you should have a pretty fun time, I know I did.

In your face, James Cameron…

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

17. October 2010 by Darren Goodhart
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