One day someone will be able to explain to me why it is that movies like Jackass Number Two continue to amuse people. It's rude, disgusting, adolescent behavior — same as it's always been since the inception of the MTV show or CKY videos — but somehow I find myself laughing just as hard as I did the first time I saw it.
After the cinematic opening sequence, you realize right away that the boys have upped the ante. You see a mouse puppet being pulled out of a mouse-hole into an aquarium with a viper. Pull back and you realize Chris Pontius is about to have his penis bitten by a snake. Say what you want about these guys, but they are fearless.
The full cast is back for more of the same painful, base, and self-destructive behavior: Steve-O and Chris Pontius have more fun toying with dangerous animals; Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn do more damage to Bam's parents' house; Jason “Wee-Man” Acuna and Preston Lacey still chase each other through the streets in their underwear; Dave England craps, and Ehren McGhehey makes sure he gets recognized after this film is released since nobody recognized him after the first movie. Even Brandon Dicamillo shows up for a stunt or two.
Johnny Knoxville in particular seems to be hell-bent on getting the laugh at any cost. Several of his co-stars comment on his dedication throughout the film, sometimes in awe and other times convinced he is going to kill himself. Knoxville partly explains this in the commentary for the stunt “Bicentennial BMXing,” in which he and Ryan Dunn ride old-fashioned bicycles. As Knoxville tries to ride over a mound of snow, he goes over the handlebars. After his skull bounces off the pavement he comments “the performer in me had my hands out, before I hit the ground the producer in me says 'pull them back.'”
Since the boys have become so famous (except McGhehey), they are forced to spend a lot of time in disguise. Many of the stunts involve Knoxville as an old man and Spike Jonze as an old woman prone to accidental exposure of her saggy breasts. Other guest stars include Tony Hawk, Three Six Mafia, Luke Wilson, and Matt Hoffman.
The highlight of the film is a stunt called “Terror Taxi,” in which Ehren McGhehey begins as the prankster, but quickly becomes the victim of multiple pranks. He'll probably not have any trouble being remembered after this one.
The special features and unrated material included on the DVD almost count as an entire second film. There are 16 scenes deleted from the theatrical release, an additional 20 stunts, TV and film promotional materials, a music video to Chris Pontius' song "Karazy", a blooper reel, Easter eggs, and commentary by the main cast.
The deleted scenes consist mostly of the cast in some form of undress. If you don't need to see the guys naked, you can probably skip these. The additional stunts, however, are just as good as the ones featured in the film.
This film has no artistic merit, unless you count their ability to find new and creative ways to damage themselves and each other, but I find myself endlessly amused by their antics and can't help but admire their dedication. If you didn't like the first one or the TV show, obviously you'll hate this. For the rest of you, this one might be the best collection of stunts yet.