REVIEW: ‘Jackass Forever’ Pushes Its Cast-And Its Audience’s Stomach-To The Limit

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Jackass Forever - But Why Tho

Jackass Forever, directed by Jeff Tremaine, reunites the cast of the MTV reality show including longtime members such as Johnny Knoxville and newcomers including Rachel Wolfson and Zack “Zackass” Holmes. In true Jackass tradition, the movie features Knoxville and friends undergoing insane stunts, which often yield painful results or the laughter of fellow crew members. Or both.

The draw this time around is that the film’s release marks 20 years since Jackass premiered on MTV (and due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting filming and the release schedule, also 20 years since it went off the air.) Knoxville and his longtime collaborators, including Steve-O and Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, definitely look their age; Knoxville, in particular, is bearing a mane of silver hair and looks far wirier than he did back in the day. But credit where credit’s due, they step up and do as much of the stunts as possible.

And these stunts are insane. Starting off small with the “Dum Dum Game”, which features contestants being whacked between the legs with a piston-powered flip flop if they answer a question wrong, to attempting a “human ramp” made out of crew members stacking themselves as high as possible, the Jackass crew goes all out for these stunts. And therein lies a problem with the film; there’s only so many times you can see someone launched in the air or get hit in the nuts before it wears thin.

You’ll have to get used to the nut shots. Over half the stunts involve some form of testicular trauma, such as an update on the dreaded “cup test” when one crew member wears a sports cub and objects are launched at their groin. Throughout the film, I winced every time somebody got hit in the nuts — and when the slow-motion camera showed the impact of the blows. And the cherry on top? Most crew members go fully naked for these scenes, so get used to pasty white dudes going full frontal.

But what might top the groin-based stunts are the animal stunts. Venomous rattlesnakes, a giant spider, and even a vulture play a role in the rather demented stunts that take place in the latter half of the film. The most insane, and the one that was teased in the trailers, features Ehren McGhehey strapped to a chair and doused with honey as a grizzly bear is set loose in the room with him. Even though the bear’s on a chain, I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my seat when it approached McGhehey to have a snack.

In the end, the film stays true to the spirit of Jackass, and that’s honestly fine. You go to a Fast and Furious film, you expect stunts that defy the laws of physics. You go to a Spider-Man movie, you expect to see web-slinging action and emotional drama. You go to a Jackass movie…you’ll see people nearly killing themselves for a laugh. I don’t blame Knoxville and his crew for going the extra mile for their fans, and they even manage to wrangle a few celebrities including Eric Andre and Machine Gun Kelly into the mix. The latter has what might be one of the best stunts in the film, which involves a giant foam hand and a swimming pool — to say anything else would spoil the surprise.

Jackass Forever features what may be the series’ high point of insanity, as there seems to be no limit to what Johnny Knoxville and his crew are willing to put on screen. If you’ve watched the previous Jackass films, this will definitely be up your alley. If sophomoric stunts aren’t your thing — or more importantly, if you have a weak stomach — you’ll be fine with skipping this film.

Jackass Forever will premiere in theaters on February 4, 2022.


Jackass Forever
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Jackass Forever features what may be the series’ high point of insanity, as there seems to be no limit to what Johnny Knoxville and his crew are willing to put on screen. If you’ve watched the previous Jackass films, this will definitely be up your alley. If sophomoric stunts aren’t your thing — or more importantly, if you have a weak stomach — you’ll be fine with skipping this film.