Jackass Number Two

More of the same, which for once is welcome.

Released in 2006, certified UK-15. Reviewed on 20 Nov 2006 by Craig Eastman
Jackass Number Two image

So then. Having just slated Saw III for its complete lack of intellectual merit in my last review, I'm about to indulge in my favourite hobby of sheer hypocrisy as I praise Jackass Number Two for its warm embrace of all that is superficial. Fortunately I can just about get away with this two-faced stance because Saw III blatantly has pretensions of being something it most certainly is not, while the gentlemen of Jackass clearly revel quite heartily in the glory of the sheer, unadulterated stupidity of the carnage they commit to film. For those few not in the know, Jackass began life as an overnight smash on MTV, and basically consists of a group of friends conducting increasingly gross and often insanely dangerous stunts for the benefit of we the viewers. And that's about it.

To put things in perspective, somewhere in the opening salvo of skits we find ringleader Johnny Knoxville blindfolded and nervously lighting a cigarette before being charged by a rampaging, fully horned bull that subsequently tosses him through the air like the proverbial rag doll. And that's one of the more tame efforts. Other such stupidity is encapsulated in acts including but by no means exclusive of riding a writhing fire hose suspended from a crane, having a snake strike a penis disguised as a mouse, branding someone's arse with a hot iron and pushing a fish hook through one silly bugger's cheek before dragging him behind a boat as bait for sharks. In short all the things your mother warned you never to do when out playing with your mates. Also dragged into the melee are a number of celebs from the extreme sporting world, although the likes of Matt Hoffman and Tony Hawk rarely find themselves in quite the jeopardy of the Jackass crew themselves.

Jackass Number Two image

Now, nobody is going to pretend that there's anything of merit either narratively or thematically to be found lurking in the bowels of Jackass Number Two, the primary reason for which being that everyone involved is only too aware of the immaturity and senseless depravity of each and every act they perpetrate. While technically this is the single biggest flaw of the movie, it's also by far and away its greatest achievement. Knoxville and company clearly realise that there's little point in doing anything by half, and so if you're going to act stupid you may as well be all the way stupid. If this means standing ten feet from a claymore mine loaded with rubber ball bearings, usually used to protect embassies from rioters, as it is detonated then so be it. The upshot of this is belly laughs; they know it and we know it, and the sheer gusto with which these now thirty-somethings embrace being thrown down a hill inside a tractor tyre makes for compelling if puerile viewing.

There's little one can say about a film like this to justify the score awarded, as it's very much a matter of taste rather than merit. If you liked the TV show or the first movie then you'll love it. If you have an ounce of humour in your body then you should at least chuckle a couple of times, even if it does feel a little beneath you. If you like a nice mug of Horlicks before bedtime and are currently reading the latest Jilly Cooper novel then I doubt it'll be for you. Personally I laughed like a drain the whole way through, and for a movie that markets itself quite clearly as an extremely stupid comedy of forced physical errors I can't really say it failed in it's task. Pathetic, immature, cringeworthy and downright rotten in the extreme, I can't think of any better badge of merit to award such genius. Men Of Jackass, may you never grow older or wiser.

I award this shambles four out of five Disko units.

Jeff Tremaine
Cast list:
Johnny Knoxville (Himself)
Bam Margera (Himself)
Steve-O (Himself)