Jackass Forever hits the nail on the head with its return to the glory days of the gross-out comedy, a genre that they played an essential role in initially popularising.
It seemed to become almost a gag when the fourth Jackass film, a long-awaited and often thought-impossible grand finale to the series of films based upon the MTV show, was consistently delayed. For some time, it seemed that the rumours surrounding the existence of the film may have fallen apart after a prolonged moment of anticipation, but finally the film is out… the only question that remains now is was the waiting worthwhile?
Of course it was – for fans of the series, this is the perfectly primed guaranteed hit that you would expect, full (and I mean, full) of many of the most intense stunts ever performed by the group and appearances from the classic Jackass crew. There are some new but familiar faces (Tyler, the Creator, Machine Gun Kelly and Eric Andre make appearances) and some entirely new ones like Poopies and Zach Holmes. The pranks and set-ups are more extreme than ever, fulfilling that decade long urge to see the group put themselves through the wringer for their and our shared amusement.
With glossy pacing that sees the pranks gradually grow in extremity, Jackass Forever is the culmination of the group’s work as it sees their pain and scale amplified beyond what was previously thought possible. But it is more than purely laughs too, functioning as a touching farewell to the now passed era of the gross-out comedy. Eric Andre played his own part in this small revival in the sub-genre with The Eric Andre Show and his Netflix-distributed film Bad Trip, but the return of the group responsible for much of the boom of the gross-out comedy, of course, proved to be huge.
The film has all of the classic moments you would expect – Johnny Knoxville is rammed by a bull, Chris Pontius spends an intense amount of time on screen naked… people are shot by cannonballs, almost eaten by bears, stung by bees, jumped on with a pogo-stick and hospitalised multiple times among many other things, but the core of Jackass remains in tact – the very strange but always endearing friendship that is clearly shared by the group, constantly evidenced by their camaraderie and the non-stop laughs that can be heard in the background of any one of the film’s many stunts or jokes.
Long-time member Bam Margera’s presence is missed, but the hole left by him doesn’t ruin the film by any means. Jackass Forever remains a fantastic comedy, with huge laughs from start to finish – it isn’t likely to make fans out of naysayers, but it is practically guaranteed to please any fan of the series and/or films.
Jackass Forever is in cinemas now with an 18 certificate. Watch the trailer on YouTube below: