‘Jackass 3D’: The Reviews Are In!

Johnny Knoxville and co. deliver 'the spectacle of comedy pared down to its barest essence,' one critic says.

The first two “Jackass” flicks shotgunned their way to the top of the box office. “Jackass 3D” will probably be no different. The only question should be if the third of Johnny Knoxville’s stunt-heavy movies can top the opening of his second.

“Jackass Number Two” bowed to $29 million on over 3,000 screens in 2006. “Jackass 3D,” by contrast, is set to screen in about 30 more theaters, and comes with an inflated ticket price, thanks to its third dimension. Some box-office experts are predicting the new movie will gross upwards of $30 million, which would make it the first film to cross that plateau since “The Expendables” in mid-August. Other B.O. authorities expect “Jackass” to land in the mid-to-high $20 million range.

Where the movie ends up at the end of the weekend will likely depend on its word-of-mouth. Here’s what the critics are saying about “Jackass 3D.”

The Story

“Like the show that inspired it, ‘Jackass 3D’ has no narrative. Rather, it’s comprised of a nonstop series of stunts, pranks and stupid tricks that the now-established ensemble of idiots play on each other, and seemingly as often, themselves. Their leader, as always, is the indefatigable Johnny Knoxville, who subjects himself to many of the worst stunts despite being the one who most often gets the most injured. Meanwhile, there’s Steve-O and Chris Pontius, stars of the ‘Jackass’ spin-off ‘Wildboyz,’ both of whom are still game to tackle whatever Knoxville makes them eat, wear, or in Pontius’ case, not wear. Bam Margera is also back, terrorizing his parents Phil and April, as are his cohorts Dave England, Ehren McGheghey and Ryan Dunn. And then there’s Preston Lacy and Wee Man, whose contrast in physical size continues to be a great source of humor.” — Todd Gilchrist, Cinematical

The Laughs:

“[N]ovelty has never been a prerequisite for hilarity with this franchise, and ‘Jackass 3D,’ like its forerunners, offers the spectacle of comedy pared down to its barest essence, stripped of the distractions of motivation, purpose and narrative. There’s a certain purity to the way these jokers relentlessly pursue their oral/anal fixations, and their eagerness to degrade themselves is curiously ennobling. The troupe’s likability goes a long way toward making it all go down easy; even their socially transgressive stunts, as when Knoxville dons his familiar dirty-old-man prosthetics, never approach Sacha Baron Cohen levels of mean-spirited anarchy.” — Justin Chang, Variety

The 3-D

“The 3D is utilized exactly as it should be for a ‘Jackass’ movie. For the majority of the film, it is lowbrow, over the top, and in your face. This is not an intimate exploration of the world of the Na’vi, this is a balls in your face, puke-fest. The opening and closing sequences, however, are strangely beautiful, even in their ludicrous hilarity. Fans will particularly enjoy the footage from the original series, and childhood photos of the boys, that run throughout the credit sequence.” — Roth Cornet, ScreenRant

The Dissenters

“The element of half-crazed, death-defying danger that was present in all previous ‘Jackass’ endeavors has faded, perhaps pushed out of the picture by girlfriends and wives and kids who, incidentally you’ll see glimpses of during the movie’s sappy, family photos themed closing credits. … Still, there’s plenty of pain, mostly in the form of ball punching, and Knoxville does do a quick run around a ring pursued by an angry bull. But none of it really feels as dangerous and on the edge as it once did. All that’s really left of the Jackass facade is the ability to be gross and, getting old or not, they’ve still got that down.” — Josh Tyler, Cinema Blend

The Final Word

” ‘Jackass’ stands apart from similar shows and imitators because of the particular personalities involved, and because of the surreal sensibility that has always been such a big part of the show. Anyone can do a physical stunt, but these guys always build a context around the joke that takes it two or three steps beyond. And during the closing moments of the film, as they essentially unleash a soundstage apocalypse, leading into a closing credits sequence set to Weezer’s ‘Memories’ that features footage from the full decade they’ve been shooting, there’s a poignancy I wouldn’t have expected from ‘Jackass.’ Ever. I think it’s because we’ve watched these guys get older without growing up one little bit, and since we can’t all get away with that, there is a freedom and, yes, a beauty to watching someone else pull it off.” — Drew McWeeny, HitFix

Check out everything we’ve got on “Jackass 3D.”

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