Published Jan 01, 2006Jackass: The Movie is unquestionably one of the funniest, most disturbing, sadistic and entertaining pieces of cinema ever made. It hovers on the edge of going too far, always remembering that death or dismemberment is too far, and takes suffering for your art to a whole other dimension. Although a "movie" implies plot, acting and some sort of linear storytelling arc, none of which J:TM actually possesses, what J:TM does possess is the charismatic Johnny Knoxville and his entertaining cast of miscreants (Steve-O, Bam, Preston, Wee Man, etc.) performing some of their best "stunts," bits and pranks in locations all over the world. It's sadistic, masochistic and often cruel, which makes it even funnier, but unlike some of the hit and miss TV spots, it's all hilarious, to the point of tears, especially anything where Knoxville gets concussed (department store boxing with Butterbean, or rolling a golf cart). Other highlights include the "Bungee Wedgie," "Night Pandas" (where they terrorise Japan dressed as pandas) and "Off-Road Tattoo," with Henry Rollins, but it's all pretty much gold covered in bodily fluids. You may think less of yourself for enjoying it, but it's worth it. Amazingly, the DVD comes loaded with not one but two commentary tracks (including Knoxville with the director and cinematographer, and one with the cast), and 27 minutes of additional footage, some of which could have even made the movie.
But if Jackass straddles the line, The Steve-O Video Vol. II: The Tour craps on it then picks it up and throws it at you. It sounds odd to say that Steve-O lacks the sophistication and intelligence of Jackass (guh?) but it's true. Mostly absent are the skits and stunts of Jackass, replaced instead with random destruction, physical abuse, debauchery and grossness (thought I was joking about the poo flinging didn't you?). Steve-O should be saluted for attempting to take it to the next level (and he brings some Jackass alumni along for the ride), and some of the few stunts he does are entertaining. It's compelling, like a car wreck, to see just what he'll do next for the sake of entertainment (even breaking his collarbone at one point), but it's more uncomfortable than funny, a line Steve-O should know how to straddle by now. Extras: J:TM: commentary; MTV's "making of"; outtakes; 27 minutes of extra footage; promo spots; music videos; trailer; biographies; photo and poster gallery. Steve-O: none. (Paramount; J&N/Red)