How do you review a movie like this? Do you speak of the clever, yet sophomoric play on words in the title? Do you detail the stunts that are contained within? Do you mention the waves of laughter that ripple through the audience like nausea? Do you go on about the insanity of the players in the film? Do you even call it a movie? What kind of movie is it? Documentary? Action? Comedy? Or, maybe you would speak on how beautifully the opening sequence is filmed and pieced together? So many questions can go through your mind as you approach a work such as this.
Jackass Number Two is pretty much review proof. Those who want to see it do not need to read reviews; they know what it is all about. Those who don't want to see it may read the reviews out of some morbid curiosity, but they won't help the box office take. So why write a review? Perhaps as a way to cleanse the soul, to purge the images from your minds eye and move them into some sort of back brain file.
I am not even sure that I can go so far as to call this a movie. It has laughs, but I wouldn't call it a "comedy." It has action, but I wouldn't call it an "action movie." It seems to come closest to a documentary, but there is no real narrative or subject matter that it delves into. The one thing that it does do, and this is a testament to director Jeff Tremaine and editor, whose name I do not know, they have taken these exploits and placed them into an escalating lyrical pattern that has a flow all of its own. There is just something that is disturbingly fascinating about watching the Jackass guys do their thing, while the cuts move forward in a flow that makes a strange sort of sense. I cannot quite explain it, but the editing works as we move through the waves of pain and disgust, mixed with gut busting hilarity.
I cannot claim to be a fan of the original television incarnation, nor of the first movie, although I have seen bits of the series and the entire first film. For a while, I was almost ashamed to admit how funny I found it. For some unexplained reason, I was ashamed for gaining enjoyment from something that I considered to be so lowbrow. I still consider it to be low entertainment, but I have made peace with myself.
The screening of Jackass Number Two that I attended had a pretty good crowd, mostly college age kids from the look of it. Just as I had expected. They all seemed to be having a good time, judging by the mixture of laughs and gasps. I was right there with them.