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Jackass Forever

After a decade’s absence, this circus of spectacle exceeds expectations with an incredible amount of heart and genuine showmanship.

Jackass Forever is not the kind of film that can, nor should be, critiqued in any traditional manner. To do so would be like pulling aside every happy, trick-or-treating child on Halloween and snarking at them for how silly their werewolf costume is, or how their mummy costume is obviously a roll of Andrex. You wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, but you wouldn’t look much smarter nor cooler for doing so, either.

Jackass Forever is as pragmatic a comedy production as ever there was. Simply, a group of stunt performers undergo all manners of slapstick self-flagelation and degradation for our entertainment, from being strapped into a relatively-sophiscated, vaguely giger-esque underwater fart igniter, to the respectable bluntness of a UFC Heavyweight punching someone in the balls. Jackass Forever is cinema that does more than many of it’s wide-release blockbuster contemporaries at the box office can claim- be it disgust, laughter or awe, Jackass Forever will repeatedly, tenderly take ahold of your emotions and never fail to do something deeply provocative with them.

The critical renaissance of the Jackass movies doesn’t come from any kind of meaningful technical or narrative evolution- it is simply the result of a very specific strain of comedy staying true and consistent for over two decades, time enough to become a cultural touchstone far bigger than itself, something that increasingly less people seem willing to pretend is beneath them anymore.

Nothing about Jackass Forever lies to you. Not one nut shot was tweaked by committee to tease the Jackass+ streaming slate of spin-off shows, not one animal bite to the face was done in service of expanding the Knoxville Cinematic Universe. Throughout every single indignity, humiliation and violence the Jackass crew seem to put one another through, it is impossible to ignore the pervasive sense of love these performers have for their craft, but more importantly for one another. There is a true, palpable humanity in the docu-comedy of Jackass Forever that feels just as potent now, as their grey hairs and aching knees set in, as there was in their early-2000s adventures when they had all the time in the world.

If you find that your opinion towards Knoxville & Co. has grown fonder or perhaps wearier as time has gone by, the truth is that it’s something within you that has changed; because I can promise you that Jackass has not.

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