Review: Jackass Forever

Score:  B-

Director:  Jeff Tremaine

Cast:  Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ehren McGhehey, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña

Running Time:  96 Minutes

Rated:  R

"Fuck all the way off!"

The Jackass guys have gotten older, but thankfully their maturity level has remained the same.

It's been more than twenty years since MTV debuted the pilot episode of Jackass. Simple in both context and structure, the show ran for three seasons on the network, spawning three theatrical films and a generation of ambitious, daring stunt performers. The last movie (ironically titled Jackass 3D) hit theaters in 2011. Though the world didn't necessarily ask for a final bow from the troupe, Jackass Forever might be the film we didn't realize we needed.

There is no denying that things have changed drastically over the last two decades - mainly, YouTube. Competing almost directly with the video platform where anyone can act stupid and ridiculous for the sake of a view, the heart and soul of Johnny Knoxville's creation shines through, proving that when it comes to large-scale entertainment, nostalgia and personality win the day.

Though Ryan Dunn is absent (he died in a car crash in 2011), and Bam Margera was fired by Paramount, director Jeff Tremaine returns the majority of his original cast – now solidly within the scope of middle age – with a few newcomers whose bodies allow a bit more elastic give. Those newbies are led by rapper Jasper Dolphin (real name Davon Wilson), an adult male who is only referred to as "Poopies" (Sean McInerney), and stand-up comedian Rachel Wolfson, the first and only female within the franchise.

Knoxville has continuously stated that this will be his final film. During filming, he sustained a brain hemorrhage when he was flipped upside-down by a bull. The scene marks a courageous final bow for the creative mastermind, proving that regardless of age, it's always best to go out on your back.

Jackass Forever boasts an impressive number of penis-centric sketches. We watch as the group tests the sturdiness of a protective cup (a throwback to an original sketch), bringing in prolific sports personalities to investigate. A heavyweight punch, softball, pogo stick, and hockey puck find their way to the nether region, and that is only one segment. In others, it is coated with bees, smooshed between two pieces of glass, slapped with a flip-flop, and even painted to represent Godzilla during the film's opening sequence. It's a lot and oddly not too much in a brilliant display of self-control and awareness.

Ehren McGhehey, better known as Danger Ehren, is easily the most targeted performer. His willingness to participate goes unmatched as he throws himself into the ring at nearly every opportunity. You feel for the guy as you laugh hysterically when he is covered in honey and offered as bait to a bear with unrestricted access to his goods. It's unapologetically random in all the right ways, shot in a manner that sets it apart from its imitators.

In a way, that is what makes Jackass work so well. Unmatched cinematography captures beautifully foolish moments of aging men, laden in their underpants, squirming at the result of their own doing.

That, along with the group's resilient and robust friendship, gives it an edge. Basking in the crazy, they appreciate the courage of one another. They laugh, smile, clap, and genuinely like each other. They are the ultimate hype person. With them, anything is worth a try. And though they have aged, you cannot overlook the obvious fact that their hearts remain large and healthy.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.