‘Jackass Forever’: The fellas may be getting old, but their act isn’t

“Jackass Forever” (2022) – “Hi!  I’m Johnny Knoxville, and this is the…”

Fill in the blank with your favorite Jackass stunt. 

For me, “Fireworks Wake-Up”, “The Beehive Limo”, and “The Field Goal” are three beloved skits that come to mind!

With a television series and three feature films under their collective utility belts, Knoxville and his band of merry goofballs with a penchant for personal and public mayhem have delivered countless feats, daredevil tricks, and outrageous pranks that have astounded, mystified, and disgusted audiences since 2000.  

The year 2000. 

Bill Clinton was the U.S. President, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston got married, and the Boston Red Sox still hadn’t won a World Series since 1918. 

Twenty-two years is a long time, but in 2022, Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuna, Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey, and Dave England are back to entertain the masses with hijinks comprised of equal parts of unadulterated peril, comedy, and stupidity.  Take the last tag with a grain of salt because these fellas aren’t dumb.  They are “in on” the jokes, and in fact, they wrote them. 

New cast member Sean ‘Poopies’ McInerney and the gang

What’s that old saying?   A comedian isn’t the guy streaking on the football field, but the person who talked him into it.  Well, this crew plays both roles, as comedians and performers.

After 22 years since MTV took a chance on these jokers, the question is:  Does their new feature film hold up? 

The answer is a resounding YES!

“Jackass Forever” is a gut-busting laugh riot. The gang and their stunts are just as funny and flabbergasting as the first film’s glorious lunacy, when Knoxville, McGhehey, and England blew air horns on a golf course, Jeff Tremaine gave Steve-O a tattoo while Henry Rollins drove recklessly, and Wee Man kicked himself in the head.  I haven’t laughed this hard since Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Tutar (Maria Bakalova) performed their father-daughter dance in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (2020).   However, in “Jackass Forever”, Knoxville and his crew boogie and groove through about two dozen moments that delivered the same level of lunar-disco glee from this critic.  

Granted, Knoxville is 50 years young, and the other originals’ ages hover close by, from 45 to 52.  At times, Johnny proudly lets his gray follicles fly, and the team sports more wrinkles and fewer teeth, so yes, the fellas may be getting old, but, make no mistake, their act isn’t! 

(For the record, I’m 52, lest anyone thinks that I’m an ageist.)

Other than adding a few new faces to help absorb some of the juvenile punishment – like Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Sean ‘Poopies’ McInerney, and their first female team member, Rachel Wolfson – Knoxville and director Jeff Tremaine do not change their creation’s winning formula.

New cast member Zach Holmes

This film moves briskly – through gnarly hazards and insane dares – over its 96-minute runtime and offers its familiar and potent mixture of 15-second quick hitters and longer elaborate setups and explosive payoffs.  Sometimes, the Jackass Team’s stunts are clear derivations from previous films, and on other occasions, they are brand-new ideas. 

During a Jan. 25, 2022 interview with Howard Stern, Johnny Knoxville says, “If I got an idea, I would type (it out) and put Jackass 4 in the subject line and email it to myself right then.  And so, I did that for 10 years.”  

Johnny’s lays out his decade of inspiration towards ridiculous and stupendous use, and the only letdowns are the absences of Ryan Dunn and Bam Margera.  Dunn tragically passed away, at just 34, in a 2011 car accident, and Margera was fired from the “Jackass Forever” production due to addiction issues.

Machine Gun Kelly, Johnny Knoxville, and Steve-O

Well, the rest of the band is back together to make spot-on outlandish “music”, and I find it difficult to believe that any Jackass fan would be disappointed by the guys’ and a girl’s collective efforts to astound and entertain us in this wild film.  On the flip side, audiences – who don’t prefer Knoxville’s and Tremaine’s humor – will not be suddenly won over.  “Jackass Forever”, however, crosses the gross-out line more often in this movie than the others, and that includes too much full-frontal nudity.  Come on, Guys.  Really?

Still, it’s a thrill to watch these old friends perform and deliver new favorite feats, such as….

Oh, let’s not give away spoilers.  I haven’t mentioned one Jackass deed in this review, but watch the movie so that we can talk!

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Directed by: Jeff Tremaine

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuna, Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey, Dave England, Zach Holmes, Jasper Dolphin, Rachel Wolfson, and Sean ‘Poopies’ McInerney.

Rated: R

Runtime: 96 minutes

Image credits: Paramount Pictures

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