8 November 2010

A few thoughts on JACKASS 3D

Warning: this is categorically not a review. Whatever you and your dumb little buddies might have expected I would say about Jackass 3D is probably incorrect, because I thought it was brilliant. At the same time, it's a film that utterly defies criticism, even postive criticism.

The awful joke I was waiting to bust out for six months was related to how my mates haven't seen Jackass Number Two, and I was fretting over how they'd follow the storyline. Boom boom. The order of business is exactly the same, except this time, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and co. are pushing the boundaries with their cinematography, and ultimately making the best "Real-D" 3D experience to date.

It's not looking down on the film to say it defies criticism. This one is genuinely creative, and against all expectations, 3D was the making of this series. Let me put this to you- had Jackass 3D merely been a flat-vision Jackass Number Three, would it have been a must-see in the cinemas as much as the actual film is to fans of the series?

As TV-to-movie structuring goes, this is the most literal, simply putting a sequence of goofy, daring and occasionally sick-making stunts in sequence with the more cinematic addition of showboating bookends to the film. It's literally like watching an extra long episode of the series. And at the end of the day, had this not been in 3D, it would be little more than the third Jackass film. And the tone never changes. The guys never learn anything.

With 3D, you get the team clearly striving to innovate. They make use of the same slow-motion cameras deployed so memorably in Zombieland last year to give ultra-painful replays of impact, usually in somebody's face. One of the running gags that was continually funny was "The Rocky", whereby a fight shot from the Sylvester Stallone movies is replicated by chucking water on someone and punching them in the face, filming the prank in slow motion and setting it to "Gonna Fly Now."

There's a determination to avoid the same old stuff that really helps to make this the most entertaining cinema experience I've had all year, and that means I can't put it all down to the stereoscopy. The Jackass crew are at an impasse between the silent comedy maestros of classic Hollywood and the dystopic "Ass- The Movie" crap peddlers in Mike Judge's Idiocracy, and the film is only funnier for the fact that these guys are older now. It's not to say they're any wiser, but they do get more scared than they used to. In a subversion of that moral from Monsters Inc.,the braying hyena-like laughter that accompanies most stunts is less entertaining than seeing one of these guys genuinely frightened.

It's not surprising that the most enjoyable and essential 3D experience ever comes in a film with no storyline whatsoever. 3D is, at best, a theme park attraction, and Jackass benefits more from this demonstration of the technology than the technology does itself. It's like taking the carnival sideshow to a place at Alton Towers- everything is writ large, and it's funnier than ever before. It's demented and low-brow and all of that, but if you're able to stomach it, it's the most fun you'll ever have wearing silly glasses.

Jackass 3D is now showing in 3D (duh) at cinemas nationwide.

I'm Mark the mad prophet, a professional, and until next time, make sure you and your dumb little buddies don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

1 comment:

Nick L. said...

Nice review! I haven't seen this, because I'm one of those assholes who looks at these movies as stupid features. Maybe I should watch it... :)