Jackass 3D

James Campion cannot help but laugh. It’s Jackass, and it’s in 3D!

I am huddled in a darkly-lit room in deepest Cork. With ‘The Libertines’ rocking out of the hi-fi beside me and drunken revellers rambling below me, I attempt to finish a French essay that has been haunting me for weeks. This kind of messed-up cacophony is rather appropriate. It adapts my mind to the craziness and ridiculousness of the film I will soon see.

I feel as if Johnny Knoxville and co are waiting in the shadows, ready to pounce, to provoke shock, fear, awkwardness and most importantly, uproarious laughter…. I am a late arriver to the film. As I take my seat, one of the Jackasses proclaims that ‘this is the kind of extreme shit that extreme dudes don’t even think of’. A promising start for certain. I hardly have any time to gain a bearing on my surroundings when the stunts immediately begin, one after another after another after. . .

Alright so cutting to the chase, they attempt to ‘pin the tail on a donkey’ (whilst blindfolded). They use a Lamborghini as a convenient tooth extractor (remember the auld days when all you needed was a door and a piece of string). They enact a dwarf brawl in a city bar (complete with dwarf cops and medics). They serenade an aggressive ram with trumpets (truly terrible results).

They catapult each other over a river (whilst being battered with paintballs). They even cling onto the uppermost branches of gigantic trees (as they come crashing down to the ground!). Believe me, when I say that this stuff really has to be seen to be believed, I mean it.

Their shenanigans are of the most extreme nature. The vulgarity on show here is pretty full-on. Your average Joe would not dream of any similar mischief. But that is what makes the Jackass series so powerful. I think it brings to life some of the craziness that is inherent in all people, young or old. Nobody can do this kind of stuff in real life, so what do we do?

That’s right, we walk to the cinema, we buy our large popcorn and Sprite (Coke shhmoke), and we watch these guys heroically sacrificing their bodies and their sanity for our sole enjoyment! So what if they make a stack of money from it? They cheer us all up, so they are entitled to it. Never have I heard as many people in a cinema chuckling in harmonic symphony as in Jackass 3D. As Knoxville says, ‘we’re bringing jazz back to the working man’.

One particular aspect of the film that struck me more than anything else was the brilliant camaraderie on show. These men have been buddies since their childhood. This fact shines through after every stunt, when their glowing smiles and simple effervescence comes to the fore. They laugh at each other, not in any hostile way, but rather in a congenial way.

Their screams are not excruciating, but exhilarating! They are full of life, full of the enduring friendship that so binds them together. They fall apart before our very eyes, and we adore them for it. Oh, and as for the 3D element, well, I just didn’t get it.

Having taken an incredible fifty million dollars on its opening weekend in America, success on this side of the pond is beckoning. I encourage you to watch it, for it is art of a slightly different nature. I guarantee that you will fall off your seat in fits of laughter at least seven times during the movie. And that, ladies and gentleman, is what makes Jackass so much fun and the success it has become.

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