September 28, 2006

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Jackass (R)
Johnny Knoxville fulfills all of your expectations with amazing exactitude in Jackass Number Two.

Do you expect to gag to the point of dry heaving at least three times in this movie?

Well, you will.

Do you expect to marvel at the stupidity of Knoxville’s dumb little buddies like Steve-O or Bam? Marvel to the point where you wonder, really, is this job so much better than the data entry or the post-trade-school apprenticeship that was likely some of these boy’s other option?

Yep.

Do you predict that at least once in the movie Knoxville will allow himself to be flung with great force into something that, on impact, will hurt?

Check.

Countless blows to assorted guys’ nuts?

Absolutely.

Vomit?

Need you even ask?

Those of you who did not contribute your dollars to the $28.1 million Jackass Number Two made on its opening weekend and did not see the first movie and have never seen the MTV series Jackass on which both of these movies were based and do not know any boys aged 12 through 24 might be wondering: what, exactly, is this Jackass?

Well, it’s sort of like America’s Funniest Home Videos but with all the nut-endangering hijinks done on purpose. Also, in fairness to Knoxville, it’s much much funnier than a video of cats doing wacky things or people falling at their weddings.

In addition to putting in peril their nuts, Johnny Knoxville and his friends (actually, mainly just his friends) have an assortment of things shot at other parts of their bodies. Sometimes they pierce themselves in strange places or brand each other with hot irons. Sometimes they taunt bees, sharks, snakes, bulls or other wild animals until those animals bite or otherwise maul some extremity. Sometimes bodily fluids are involved. Sometimes these fluids are ingested. Sometimes any number of these things happen in concert and then some guy gets it in the crotch.

And in just about every “prank,” at least 80 percent of the people (men) on-screen are shirtless.

Why? Why not?

Jackass Number Two is not a bad movie. In fact, it’s barely even a movie. It’s what happens when a group of 19-year-old boys (and, yes, it’s boys; there is a striking lack of girls in this film) get ahold of a video camera, a cobra and a whole lot of pot. (Or, perhaps, it’s what happens when you’re Knoxville and your career hasn’t quite reached the Vince Vaughn status you were promised and you decide, heck, why not make some money while an insurance company will still bond your movie.)

Should you see Jackass Number Two? Well, ask yourself this: what do you expect? Will you be happy or horrified if those expectations are met? I think you’ve just come up with your answer. C

— Amy Diaz


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