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What comes after stupid? Just gross

September 22, 2006|Jessica Reaves | Chicago Tribune

Quite honestly, I don't know what to say about "Jackass: Number Two." What is there to say, after all, about a 95-minute foray into feces, intestinal gas, horse semen and a beer funnel inserted into a body cavity that's quite obviously not someone's mouth?

Johnny Knoxville is rejoined by his usual band of thick-skulled morons, including Bam Margera, whose poor parents seem to have been sucked (again) into this nightmare, Steve-O and Dave England. These eight or so merrymakers join Knoxville in stunts designed not only to break teeth, bones and the human spirit but also to activate gag reflexes -- cameramen are seen vomiting, as are sound guys and, with surprising frequency, the stars themselves. I myself experienced dangerous nausea levels for three or four hours after the movie ended. Seriously.

From its opening sequence (Knoxville and boys running through a suburban set neighborhood being chased by angry bulls) to the closing, bizarre homage to 1930s musicals, the movie never deviates from its formula of increasingly stomach-churning stunts.

There's no plot here; like the MTV show that spawned it, this movie is just a progression of increasingly disgusting and/or dangerous stunts. Blood is drawn, vomit spewed and effluvium drips into view. Some of the tamer segments involve cast members strapping themselves onto various propulsion devices in hopes of crossing large bodies of water. Needless to say, the devices almost always blow up, and the cast member is thrown from said device and incurs various head traumas.

All of this is met with unbridled hilarity by the rest of the guys, who are usually seen standing around giving one another high fives and screaming with laughter.

Knoxville and his crew operate with knowing smirks on their faces, which makes them both more annoying and less susceptible to critics who might question their intelligence, human decency or both.

"Yeah," they seem to be saying, shaking their heads in mock dismay, "so we're acting like idiots. Look at the title of the movie, people. What did you think you were going to see? Shakespeare?"

And, of course, the majority of people (and, based on the commercial success of the previous "Jackass" movie, there will be many) who see this movie will be fans of the television series. They will, therefore, likely be far less horrified and, one assumes, less judgmental than a movie reviewer who is still wondering when she might be able to once again stomach solid food.

During the closing credits, one cast member/ hapless stuntman turns to the camera and pleads, "Please, God, don't let there be a 'Jackass Three.' " I couldn't have said it better.


`Jackass: Number Two'

MPAA rating: R for extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout, sexual content, nudity and language

A Paramount Pictures/MTV Films release. Director Jeff Tremaine. Screenplay by Sean Cliver, Preston Lacy. Producers Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville. Cinematographers Lance Bangs, Dimitry Elyashkevich, Rick Kosick. Editors Seth Casriel, Matthew Probst, Scott Simmons. Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

In general release.

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