You may recall in my Dirty Sanchez: The Movie (Jim Hickey, 2006) review that I said I hoped the Jackass boys could do better stunts and pranks with their second offering than the MTV Europe guys managed with their debut. Thankfully they have, avoiding the general reliance on bodily fluids and nastiness in favour of a frat pack flavour that ensures much hilarity ensues. It is not that the original MTV stars do not go for the jugular to inflict pain on each other, it is the lengths they go to in order to make it as over the top as possible. Putting ringleader Johnny Knoxville on a giant red rocket and launching him 60ft into the air like a dare devil circus act may sound a bit stupid, but it sure is funny.
Bam Margera is tormented by a cobra in a wind tunnel and three of the gang go Anaconda catching in a plastic ball play-pit.
The film’s opening set piece involves the cast being chased by a pack of raging bulls, a theme that continues throughout. Later, Knoxville blindfolds himself and has a bull run at him, knocking him 360 degrees in the air and a bull is involved in a pain-inducing game of two-way see-saw. Elsewhere, Steve-O puts a fishing hook through his cheek and acts as shark bait in the sea, Bam Margera is tormented by a cobra in a wind tunnel and three of the gang go Anaconda catching in a plastic ball play-pit. Along the way filmmakers Spike Jonze and John Waters, skateboarder Tony Hawk and even actor Luke Wilson make an appearance. Everyone has that cheeky smile that will probably either make you love them or hate them, and that is exactly why there are plenty of naysayers towards Jackass and, of course, Dirty Sanchez.
Here much of the amusement is in the simplest things. In one sketch, various Jackass crew are tricked into reading a note on a wall only to be punched by a air-powered boxing glove hidden in a hole behind it. The fact it is repeated on several of them will either be tedious or genius, depending on your sensibilities. It is fun seeing the stunts that invariably go completely wrong or are deliberately sabotaged. Vomit, blood, broken teeth and a lot of groans in agony are matched by the hysterical laughter from the onlookers — the more of the former resulting on more of the latter. Jackass scores highly simply because they have the time and budget to do so many shorts that last little more than 30 seconds to keep you entertained, and plenty of skits that probably never see the light of day. I think we all knew, and expected, Jackass: Number Two to be throwaway entertainment, but I think there is at least one manic moment we would all consider having a go at: maybe not the horse semen drinking, but perhaps the loop-the-loop attempt on a miniature motorcycle. Well I would anyway.
I think we all knew, and expected, Jackass: Number Two to be throwaway entertainment.
I suppose there is a time and place for Jackass: Number Two, and arguably giving it exposure in a cinema is perhaps taking it a bit too seriously as entertainment. On the other hand, it hits the spot a lot better and more effectively than lame “comedies” such as Click (Frank Coraci, 2006) or Accepted (Steve Pink, 2006). You know if you want to see this, and if you do, it is sure to please. Number three might be pushing the joke too far…decide for yourself.