I laughed so hard my chest was burning as I left the theater. My asthmatic friend Don had to hit up his inhaler a time or two. We left the sauna-like theater sweating as if we’d just ran a mile or two. I was in pain when I awoke Saturday morning; my abs were sore, as though I’d done 100 crunches. I’ve never felt so satisfied leaving a movie.
I’ve just seen jackass: the movie. OK, I’ve just seen it three nights in a row.
Like most great movies, jackass was better the second time. I found myself laughing not at the gag, but at the start of scenes. When I see those near-naked guys shivering on the rooftop of some high-rise on a cold Tokyo evening, I instantly start laughing, because I know in a couple of minutes one of them is going to warm up by shooting fireworks out of his anus. And that only makes me laugh harder when I see him do it.
So I ended up laughing harder than the first viewing, and for a longer period of time.
What separates jackass from all other films is that it’s real. It’s the most original movie in years. There are no stuntmen, no slapstick comedy, no actors and no artificiality to buffer the stars from the audience. I saw the camaraderie between this group of guys, and I felt like these guys were my friends.
I don’t get that feeling when I see stuntmen posing as Vin Diesel or The Rock. Or when I see Adam Sandler do his formulaic thing. The same goes for such buddy comedies as this week’s I Spy.
And unlike the television show, in jackass: the movie, there are no commercials to soften the blow of these much more intense skits. You get hit with blow after blow of insanity, in rapid-fire succession, much like our “protagonist” Johnny Knoxville combating overweight boxing champion Butterbean.
The amount of laughter in the theater was deafening, to the point that the you couldn’t hear the “dialogue,” which was nothing more than guys laughing at each other, or describing what their next stunt was. But you really don’t need to hear what they’re talking about. This is a very visual movie; all you need to do is see the spots.
These guys were doing this stuff long before they were handed gobs of money from MTV, and I’m sure they would do it even if there wasn’t a camera rolling.
After the second viewing Don said, “If I could, I would just give them money to keep doing that forever.”
I wholeheartedly agree.
Contact Andrew Pina at firstname.lastname@example.org