One of the funniest parts of “Jackass Number Two” is the warning at the beginning that states that all stunts were “performed by professionals.” In the strictest sense of the word, I guess anybody who gets paid thousands of dollars to chug an entire beer through his butthole is a professional. Using that criterion, that term would also apply to the person who then plunges it out.
Let’s face it, potty humor is funny. You can be offended all you want, but laughing at a guy who craps on a miniature toilet is only one step away from the cute baby who slips in his poop on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” It all comes from the same place. It’s just a matter of how it’s packaged.
|Pop goes the Wee Man|
“Jackass Number Two” features a bunch of thirty-something dudes drinking Miller High Life and testing the gross-out limits of both mind and body. If that sounds too hoity-toity, I’ll re-phrase. It’s basically a bunch of good-natured dumbasses falling down. By comparison, America’s “funny” video show has a smarmy host, painfully unfunny one-liners, an idiot-grin studio audience, and more people falling down.
Whereas the funny home videos are supposedly accidental, the stunts on “Jackass” are meticulously planned. Each one must have that special blend of idiocy and cleverness that makes it outrageously entertaining. We all know that when a person bungee jumps, they snap back up before the cord goes slack. Original cast member Bam Margera wondered what would happen if a midget were on one end of the rope and a fat man on the other. Since it just so happens that Wee Man and Preston Lacy fit those specifications, an intriguingly stupid stunt is born.
These guys may not be superheroes, but they are certainly super-fearless, as Johnny Knoxville proves by taking a charging bull head-on while blindfolded. It takes a special kind of a person to pierce his own face with a fish hook and throw himself off a boat as shark bait. Steve-O, a regular cast member since the MTV days, does just that in one of many scenes from the new movie version of the popular TV show. It’s like the most obscene version of a game of Truth or Dare where nobody wants to tell the truth.
Just in case you’ve been under a rock:
Like the first “Jackass: The Movie,” which made over $60 million in the U.S. alone, this sequel is a plotless collection of short bits where Knoxville and his buddies perform dangerous and increasingly imaginative feats of stupidity for the amusement of each other and everybody else around them. It is a testament to how funny the movie really is that during its entire 90-minute running time, I never once got bored.
“Jackass Number Two” also has more male nudity and homoeroticism than any movie in recent memory. These guys are intimately familiar with each other’s bodies, yet never seem to grow tired of seeing them. If they aren’t branding someone’s ass, then they are shaving their pubic hairs for use in a fake beard.
|A leech in the eye is worth 2 in the bush|
It isn’t until a particular prank involving a gun and a dumb racial stereotype that I questioned where the limits of this kind of humor lie. This particular stunt was like Ashton Kutcher’s “Punk’d” crossed with Shannen Doherty’s “Scare Tactics” crossed with a threatening prank phone call that would land any normal person in jail.
With all the perversion and defecation going on, it is wholly appropriate for John Waters to show up for one of many celebrity cameos. Speaking of celebrity cameos, isn’t it an endorsement of the film for celebs to appear in these filthy little clips? There’s no more esteemed club in Hollywood those who have won Academy Awards. Can you guess how many Oscar nominees/winners appear in “Jackass Number Two”? They should get some politicians involved for Number Three, and really break some taste barriers.
The men of “Jackass” are like the kid in high school who will do anything for attention. They do what we are afraid to do, while we just sit there, wondering what would happen if we did. So if you have ever wondered what it would be like to ride a rocket into the sky, let Mr. Knoxville be your surrogate and save a trip to the hospital.