'Jackass Forever' review: Outrageous pranksters have done it again
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Everyone’s favorite gang of crude and lewd pranksters are back with more rowdy and outrageous stunts that seek to bruise, infect, and in some cases, almost fatally harm. Such is the case for “Jackass Forever” the fourth installment in high society’s primo franchise where pig seman comes by the gallons, the human penis is utilized in several innovative methods, and getting launched out of a cannon at speeds upwards of 100mph is just another day at the office. The formula hasn’t been tweaked, but director Jeff Treamine and master of ceremonies and “Jackass” co-founder Johnny Knoxville don’t let anyone off easy though if you had to pinpoint who takes the most cringeworthy hits, the case could be made for Ehren McGhehey or Danger Ehren who endures different models and variations of the classic stunt: “The Cup Test.” One “test” involves a world heavyweight boxer and the other a pogo stick.
Then there’s Steve-O, the raspy voiced performer known for his gag reflex, who somehow got roped into standing naked atop a beehive with the queen hanging around his junk as thousands of bees converged around his, er, prostate. (Good luck getting those stingers out!) Yes “Jackass Forever” is perfectly calm letting these crazy kids do whatever the hell they want (or whatever the studio lets them get away with), but the the magic and hilarity of these movies isn’t always about the stunts (though a good selling point) it’s seeing this lovable entourage of man-children/misfits (and among the new blood is Rachel Wolfson, breaking ground as the first female cast member) laughing at their own pain. Indeed, there’s a saying about how we always hurt the ones we love. Well, “Jackass Forever” takes the statement literally.
Treamine and company know the stakes with making a “Jackass” film and the cast members understand only the wildest sequences are going to make the cut (or risk being a blip in the closing credits) but the artirsity and production values on these movies never cease to amaze. Take the opening credit sequence for example, a spoof on “Godzilla” filmed in 16mm that at first glance seems normal, except in this universe nothing is “normal” so naturally there’s Chris Pontius’ green painted dick and the balls substituted as feet plowing through a miniscule sized metropolis before a snapping turtle comes and, uh, saves the day. It’s silly, irrelevant and had me on the floor wheezing, but Treamine takes the time to craft a cinematic moment that would make Ishiro Honda proud. It’s as much an homage as it is a spoof.
“Jackass Forever” allows these performers to be themselves and always has the cameras rolling because you never know when someone might sneak a taser into a scene and zap an unsuspecting Dave England or spray them with human excrement for our enjoyment. The main crew isn’t getting any younger and, after the monstrous near paralyzing hit taken, I seriously doubt Knoxville plans on getting in the ring with a bull ever again. Which would explain the inclusion of fresh blood who are ceremoniously given the torch to possibly keep the “Jackass” legacy alive and our bellies hurting from laughing too hard. For our sake, I hope they do, because these movies, in all their batshit debauchery, are special experiences that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
JACKASS FOREVER is now playing in theaters.