Jackass Number Two

Johnny Knoxville and his usual cohorts are back for more inane stupidity with Jackass Number Two, which picks up right where Jackass left off.  So people who loved the series and the first will love the sequel, and people that hated both will still loathe the concept.  Basically, a bunch of idiots sit around and do moronic stunts.   The most amazing aspect of Jackass Number Two?  It is fairly watchable. But only in a train wreck-like aspect.  Who are these people and why are they willing to do such dumb things? A steady stream of nudity, toilet humor, and mayhem never really answers the question.

The main group of guys is all back, and consists of Knoxville (The Ringer, Daltry Calhoun), Bam Margera (Grind), Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Wee-Man (Grind), Preston Lacy (Grind), Ryan Dunn, Ehren McGhehey (Grind), and Dave England, with appearances by Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Three Kings), and an assorted mix of other celebrities.  All of the bits are relatively short, and director Jeff Tremaine (Jackass:  The Movie) and writers Lacy and Sean Cliver move things along quickly.  What is not clear is why a movie like this needs a writer. The set ups are remarkably simple. Typically a person introduces himself, explains the stunt, then attempts it.  Tremaine captures the success or failure, as well as the reactions of the people watching. These range from hysterical laughter, disgust, and sometimes vomit.

It is fascinating to try to dissect why these people do the things they do. It is one thing to goof off with buddies, and another to play pranks on them.  But how does that evolve into seesawing over bulls, jumping on rakes, sticking hands into bear claws, or taking beer into a body orifice usually designated as an exit?  There are definitely funny moments, typically when Knoxville rigs up a mechanism that punches an unsuspecting victim, either when reading tiny writing on a sign or ringing a doorbell.  The rest just run the gamut. One guy defecates onto a miniature room. Jonze often dresses up as an elderly woman with sagging breasts that hang open.  Murderball's Mark Zupan joins them as they rocket on bikes, shopping carts, and, well, a rocket, into a lake. It just goes on and on.

Jackass Number Two is definitely tasteless, but one cannot fault Knoxville and company for a lack of enthusiasm.   They march headlong into each challenge, sometimes reluctantly, but always going through even though they know that the results will most likely hurt (case in point – Margera gets a cattle brand on his rear end).   They don't aspire for anything more than sophomoric fun, and they deliver on that account.  It just makes one wonder how they manage to still be alive after all these antics.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 32 minutes, Rated R for extremely crude and dangerous stunts throughout, sexual content, nudity, and language.

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