Understandably, there’s a certain amount of hesitancy going into franchise films nowadays with the massive amount of IP released out by Hollywood annually (especially with something released earlier in the year). However, with 2022’s Jackass Forever, the newest and most shocking addition to the now decades established Jackass franchise is a breath of fresh air.
Not only are there returning faces such as Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O, but there are plenty of newcomers who indulge in the same thrilling and juvenile stunts audiences have grown accustomed to since the early 2000s. These young stars and stuntmen/stuntwomen (most notably Zach Holmes, Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Jasper Dolphin and Rachel Wolfson) in the making grew up with a love for the source material and it shows with their daring ability to dip into even the most insane situations.
The old group of “jackasses” effectively act to pass the torch by honoring the old stunts by dialing them up by dealing a lot of pain and mockery at the expense of a laugh unto their costars. It’s the same tried and tested formula that has made the other film’s in the franchise so effective.
The trailer posits the question “when was the last time you got together with old friends to laugh your asses off?” And it not only succeeds at its primary goal but exceeds at it. The film is as funny and daring, if not moreso than previous installments featuring the same antics the crew is used to just on a much larger scale.
The explosive opening makes fun of the blockbuster-oriented event film that it clearly itself, while also containing the same slapstick and gross out humor you come to expect with Jackass. Yet even beneath the lower brow humor is a spectacular self-awareness about its own exploitation of the human body for entertainment.
The series has never been afraid of showcasing all aspects of the human condition and celebrates not only the weirdness of it, but its pure durability. Though it may be funny to see someone endure embarrassment or pain, there’s also a morbid curiosity that comes along with it that goes beyond it. This cringe humor allows for an audience to see the limitation of what our bodies can take. Through these brave men and (now) women, audiences no longer have to try it at home and can leave it to the professionals.
Easily the best of the series, Jackass Forever is innovative, funny and surprisingly affecting as a portrayal of just how precious life is. Take the proper health precautions and see it with as many people as you can.