It’s been 20 years since Johnny Knoxville and his crew of boneheaded friends debuted Jackass on MTV, doing ridiculously dangerous and painful stunts all for a handful of laughs. What started as a simple reality television show has blossomed into a multi-headed franchise with spin-offs, films, and even a video game. Two decades is a long time to be inflicting that kind of pain on oneself, and it’s amazing the franchise, and their bodies, have lasted this long. Jackass Forever is the forth official film installment and the first in over 10 years. It’s a swan song for the original crew, who are all now in their late 40s/early 50s, and showcases exactly the kind of mayhem expected from these teenagers at heart. Prepare to wince, retch, and most of all laugh your heart out. Jackass Forever doesn’t skip a beat as it delivers its final love letter to pain.
Because the original Jackass crew is getting up their in age, Jackass Forever has them bringing in a younger handful of new stunt performers to take the brunt of their brutal pranks. The film introduces Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Jasper Dolphin, Zach Holmes, Rachel Wolfson, and Eric Manaka as the new franchise protégés. They’re all just as willing and able to take a hit or embarrass themselves for a laugh. While they don’t have the same charisma as the OG crew just yet, the passing of the torch with Jackass Forever opens the possibility of the franchise living on through them.
Despite the fresh faces being added to the film, Jackass Forever retains everything the franchise is known for. The stunts are just as wild and dangerous as ever, with Knoxville constantly pushing the limits of pain, both for himself and everyone else. Childish pranks like nut shots and lighting farts on fire soar to new levels. There have never been more penises show in Jackass than in this film. Complex mechanical monstrosities are built to achieve things that no human should even attempt. Everything is done for a laugh.
And Jackass Forever delivers exactly what it intends to. The hits are brutal. The pranks are hilarious. Skits can be plainly simple, lasting only a few seconds before their payoff, or they can be deviously complex, layering one prank after another as they going in unseen directions. No one is safe. Except for the audience, of course. Longtime fans will recognize skits that callback to the early days of the show or previous films. They don’t just do them again, though. They take what they did and then push it to the next level of pain. The film taps into a well of nostalgia.
It’s amazing that these guys have been doing such dangerous and painful things for so long. For them to reach this point in their lives is an achievement in itself. Jackass Forever is a celebration for how far they’ve come and how little things have changed. Their bodies may not be able to take as much punishment as they once used to, but their minds are just as they were from way back in 2000. There’s a comradery between the group, new and old, which they share in each other’s pain and terror.
Jackass Forever delivers endless laughs from the moment it starts until the last credits roll by. It brings out the inner goofball in everyone. There’s nothing mature about it, but the franchise has never been about that. It’s simple, uncomplicated fun. The pranks may ultimately end one day, but the laughs will remain forever.
Jackass Forever is the forth official film installment and the first in over 10 years. It’s a swan song for the original crew, who are all now in their late 40s/early 50s, and showcases exactly the kind of mayhem expected from these teenagers at heart. Prepare to wince, retch, and most of all laugh your heart out. Jackass Forever doesn’t skip a beat as it delivers its final love letter to pain.