Jackass: The Movie (2002)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Jackass: The Movie</strong> (2002)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2018) Doing dumb dangerous stuff has always been the prerogative of young males since times immemorial, and it’s in that spirit that Jackass: The Movie is best appreciated. Here we have a few young men (no women except for moms—this is probably significant) doing harmful and/or stupid activities while being filmed, ranging from elaborate stunts (ah, that giant shopping cart!) to simpler cringe-inducing things such as deliberate paper cuts. Some of it takes place in Tokyo, worsening international relations. The film as a whole anticipates (or perhaps caused) the whole YouTube “let’s film ourselves pranking and stunting” craze, making it somewhat less unique than it was back then. I’m not saying that the film is without its highlights—watching Henry Rollins laughing at the misery he inflicts on the cast is a bit of wishful thinking, and the ending sequence does get a laugh or two—but a lot of it is simply discomfort comedy without much point. The flurry of short segments—55 of them in 85 minutes—means that there’s always something else coming up, for better or for worse. There were a few sequels to Jackass: The Movie, but all appear redundant after sitting through the first film.

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