My Top Ten Favourite Movies Pt.1: Jackass The Movie (#10)

I love movies. This is obvious. I watch a fair amount of movies, I have taken academic classes on film analysis and film making, I regularly watch film related content, and I have taken part in the production of some small budget films and videos in the past. I understand, to a certain extent, what makes a movie good and what makes a movie bad. In these ten articles, I will review and discuss my top ten favourite movies. This is not an objective “ten greatest movies of all time list” (even that isn’t wholly objective), but these are the ten movies that I love, or have been impressed by, the most. These are movies that have shaped my taste, and my perception of what this medium is capable of.

We start this series with my tenth favourite movie: Jackass, the Movie.

“Why is this film even near my top ten favourite movies?” you might be thinking. And I understand that. This movie ranks as my tenth favourite movie because, in my honest opinion, it is one of the best comedies of the 2000s, and, dare I say it, ever.

Jackass is a simple movie. It is a series of stunts, pranks, and other assorted mischief performed by Johnny Knoxville and his band of friends. Some of which include human bowling (hurling oneself down a bowling lane), pole vaulting in random areas, tight rope walking over an alligator pit, and so much more.

What makes this movie so good in my opinion is it walks a delicate tightrope. The film is dumb fun, but it doesn’t really ever make you think “these guys have a death wish” (which is what I believe ails Jackass 2 and 3). Many of the stunts, while they are incredibly dangerous, do not make you fear for the performer’s safety in any way. There is one stunt in the second or third movie where Steve-O draws blood by putting a hook in his mouth and jumps into shark infested waters. While they do a similar stunt in this movie, it is nowhere near as idiotic and baffiling as the one in the later films. The sharks they swam with were docile, and they didn’t really do much to aggravate them (aside from putting shrimp in their swim trunks). They also do a stunt entitled “alligator tight rope”, where Steve O walks a tight rope over a shallow pool of alligators. It’s quite dumb, but you can tell they thought it out and did it in the safest way possible.  Some of the pranks and gags in this film I would even describe as quite wholesome and cute. Skateboarding around Tokyo in panda suits, Wee Man running around in a big traffic pylon, and scaring people with a gong, is really just harmless fun.  These guys know when to play it safe, and it shows in this film.

The technical aspects of the film are also great. The ordering of the scenes and the transitions between them is well done, the soundtrack is great, and the guest stars are who you’d expect them to be (Henry Rollins, Tony Hawk, Butterbean, to name a few). For what it is, it is very well made.

Further, this film shows a special camaraderie and bond between the cast and crew. During most of the scenes, you see the rest of the cast watching and cheering each other on, laughing and messing with each other. The end credits especially, with the song “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, Then You Gotta Be Tough” playing over it, shows the cast and crew messing around and playing more pranks on each other, laughing and smiling. The film, in a sense, can be a silly, often disgusting, but overall fun reminder that good times with friends, no matter what dumb nonsense you are up to, are valuable and that those memories are incredibly important.

In conclusion, this film baffles me. How can something this stupid, juvenile, and simple, be so funny, and manage to stay funny on repeat viewings? I honestly believe this is a great comedy. Humor is subjective, so not everyone will laugh like I do at the silly stunts in this film, but if this is your cup of tea, you will greatly appreciate this movie. Recommended.

9 out of 10

Part 2 in this series will be linked here

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