Sunday, September 24, 2006
Jackass: Number Two (2006, Jeff Tremaine)
Make no mistake about it- if you hated the previous incarnations of JACKASS, you're pretty much guaranteed to hate this one too. Indeed, one of the charms of NUMBER TWO is the way it gleefully gives the finger to its detractors by ramping up all of the most devisive elements of the first movie- this one has more dangerous stunts, more bodily fluids, more male nudity, and more homosexual undercurrents. Half the fun for fans is the discovery of what the stunts are, so I won't spoil the surprise, confining myself to general observations. This late in the game, the gang clearly appears to be working harder to stay ahead of the audience, and it comes through in the occasional reluctance of cast members to join in- witness the scene in which Johnny Knoxville has to psych the guys up to participate in a certain dangerous act. And while Knoxville has become the breakout movie star of the bunch (for example: the scene in which covers his face while others might cover their genitals) he's as game as ever, often being the first to jump into the fray while also serving as ringleader for the inter-group pranks. Predictably, the film is most uneven when it abandons the stunts for less dangerous types of performance art (e.g. the Spike Jonze stuff) or straight gross-out moments. Also, has Bam Margera always been this much of a preening, camera-hogging egotist? Because while I couldn't wait to see him finally get his comeuppance, I was actually hoping for something more cathartic, like the double-cross at the film's climax. Awesome idea du jour: am I the only one who would be pumped for a Jackass-inflected Laurel and Hardy update starring Preston Lacy and Wee-Man? Rating: ***. P.S.: See this with the biggest audience you can.