Jackass Forever Review: A tough but heartwarmingly fulfilling goodbye
There are honestly so many reasons that a fourth Jackass movie shouldn’t exist, but once again the crew defies what’s thought possible with the sense of warming nostalgia and their unique brand of hilarity that hurts provided with Jackass Forever.
A lot has happened in the ten years since the crew reunited for Jackass 3D, a lot. The tragic passing of legendary member Ryan Dunn back in 2011 massively mangled the hearts of fans and the crew – especially fellow crewmate and best friend Bam Margera. The behind-the-scenes crew, especially Jeff Tremaine, has worked on other projects – including Adult Swim’s Loiter Squad and other MTV series starring skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. Johnny Knoxville continued to push his body to the limits in films like Bad Grandpa and Action Point to the point where his body has sustained incredibly rough injuries. Truthfully, with the entire crew roughly in their 40s, even 50s, time was surely running out for them being able to come back for another film.
However, through some inspiration of creating one last film to honor Dunn’s death, the possibility of a fourth Jackass film started to become a reality, and now, we have Jackass Forever. Simply seeing this group back on the big screen together is a heartwarming treat because of how it feels like nothing has changed. Sure, a lot of time has passed and as said before, a lot’s happened to this group both physically and mentally over the years. None of that pain or dour mindset ever feels present on-screen though and Jackass Forever maintains this oddly inspirational and optimistic feel.
The main group is clearly older, with Knoxville sporting some sprayed gray hair for good measure, but it never acts as an obstacle for the group and is sort of a motivator for them. Given the injuries they sustain on-screen here and the overall feel of this film being “one last ride,” Jackass Forever is undoubtedly the last time we’ll see this group together, which for the cast’s sake is probably a good thing. Some of the behind the scenes talk about their journey definitely tugs at the heartstrings, but this final entry isn’t a sad realization of the end, but rather a triumphant leap into the void with a giant smile.
Of course, watching them perform these stunts that sees them injuring and terrorizing each other has its scary, heart stopping moments. Jackass Forever definitely has some of the wildest, most memorable stunts that sees them treading dangerous new ground. The ways they torture each other and unsuspecting civilians through elaborate pranks is heightened to the point where they take gaslighting to a whole new level. The punishment they enact to their private parts creates plenty of strong suspense and even more brutal visuals. Their age even ramps up the stakes to an unexpected high that makes their interactions with dangerous animal even more intense than ever before.
Yet, even with all the brutality, especially to the guys’ private parts, none of it ever feels too terrifying or mean-spirited. Somehow it contains a sense of light-heartedness that comes from old friends coming together to do some dumb shit for one last time. The way their sense of fearlessness makes them pull no punches is genuinely inspirational. Not in the sense that you feel like attempting their craziness (because seriously, please don’t) but rather that maybe age is just a number, and that life can come full circle in great ways.
Truth be told, Jackass Forever is a true full circle experience in more ways than one. While there are plenty of new stunts and ideas, some of the best moments of Jackass Forever are when the crew puts a new spin on some old tricks. The heavily promoted reinvention of “The Cup Test” from the original tv series makes a grand return that provides some of the most painful crotch shots ever recorded, but also one of the most gruesome injuries. Steve-O gives new meaning to the “Bee-kini” and watching Knoxville play around with bulls this time leaves you breathless with its results. Wildboyz fans, like myself, will also be pleased to see some fan-favorite characters return for a glorious bit. There are even some great parodies of movies that results in the greatest opening of all the films and quite possibly the funniest Godzilla parody of all time. The full circle feel of Jackass Forever extends even further than the stunts with some of the new and somewhat familiar people involved.
Along with the old war dogs, some new cast members join the ranks and never feel out of place whatsoever. They’re all equally as daring, likeably funny, good-hearted in a way that makes them instantly feel like they’ve been there all along. They’re just as committed in all the bits they’re in and provide plenty of hilarious moments alongside the original cast. What’s even more amazing is that Jackass Forever pays homage to everything Jackass has done outside of Jackass. Some great cameos from people who’ve worked with the Jackass crew over the years, like Tyler the Creator and Eric Andre, add to Jackass Forever being a culmination of who they are, and Loiter Squad fans will love seeing Jasper officially a part of the cast.
Jackass Forever is the ultimate finale with how it truly feels like an emotional and hilarious homecoming for everyone involved and legitimately showcases the impact of Jackass in a meaningful way for fans making it tough but fulfilling to say goodbye.