by William Goss
In neither my capacity as a critic nor my decency as a human being could I possibly recommend a movie like 'Jackass: Number Two,' and I expect to neither stop those who want to see it, nor sway those who don’t. As such, try and bear with me for the next few paragraphs.“Don’t think about it, just do it” utters one walking casualty to another, and the entire Jackass crew have practically made that their pledge as they (and we) endure another feature-length round of stunts, shenanigans, and other forms of herd thinning. Involving snakes, sharks, rockets, bulls, balls, leeches, excrement, ejaculate, and much more, the majority of the mischievous activities pulled by Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Ryan Dunn, and Dave England this time around seem to skew to the scatological more than the practical exploits that made the first film so, er, ‘endearing.’ Nonetheless, the meta-pranks, the celebrity cameos, the priceless reactions of Bam’s mother, April, and the same overall car-crash appeal to the mayhem are all back in full force, although to occasionally redundant effect.
"Stupid Is As Stupid Deux"
Considering that the gang virtually disbanded following 2002’s big-screen endeavor, it’s hard to shake the feeling that, by this point, they’re beating a dead horse (in a manner of speaking). Knoxville is repeatedly concerned about saving his face, seeing as the ringleader happens to be the only one with a genuine, if undeserved, career post-Jackass, and Paramount knows just how much money they can make out of such a cheap production, capitalizing on the ever-present market of impressionable teens and young adults and the ever-diminishing likelihood of reuniting the crew for more voluntary injuries. However, those eagerly anticipating ninety minutes of daredevil depravity shant be disappointed, as Number Two delivers all the semen swallowing, midget mashing, scrotum smacking, terrorist teasing, sandbag skateboarding, and butt branding that one could never possibly imagine they might have wanted (and as if that weren’t enough, it all ends with a musical number and outtakes!).
Despite being in the prime demographic for such fare and even getting a kick out of the show whilst channel surfing in addition to the first film, I simply can’t justify any of it as legitimate entertainment. Truth be told, I actually gave this and its predecessor 1.5 stars, yet these are the only cases where I actually rounded that rating up, although my equivalent of a D-/F+ isn’t all that glowing a recommendation. So why two stars? Because I laughed. Not quite as much as I groaned and moaned and sunk in my seat, mind you, but more often than the attempts of most other alleged comedies. These jerks earn their kneejerks, for better and especially for worse.Naturally, without a narrative structure, the antics run out of steam after roughly the length of two or three back-to-back uninterrupted episodes, yet continue for a good twenty minutes more while the groans steadily outnumber actual laughs (of which there are admittedly many). As it all finally limps to a close, Bam groans, “Please, God, don’t let there be a 'Jackass 3.'” I’m more than happy to second that motion. After all, we wouldn’t want someone to get hurt… Right?
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15246&reviewer=409
originally posted: 09/23/06 09:22:08