Jackass: Number Two

on September 22, 2006 by Annlee Ellingson
Socially irresponsible and questionable at best in its treatment of animals (bulls and snakes are popular co-stars), this comedy documentary (?) reunites the “jackass” gang for another round of practical jokes and stupid stunts. With both cast members and the public at large ripe for the picking, some setups are as simple as a bear trap or horse feces, while others are quite complex, requiring elaborate makeup, costumes and mechanical contraptions. Favorites include producer Spike Jonze's getup as a granny who can't keep her clothes on and the Toro Totter, in which the guys taunt a bull from their perches on a seesaw.

Although Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius and certainly Johnny Knoxville are stars in their own right now, having ridden the “jackass” wave to their own MTV shows and, in the latter's case, legitimate Hollywood actordom, here they're all embracing their redneckedness (and often nakedness) while still referencing such cinematic touchstones as Busby Berkeley and Buster Keaton. As the ringleader, Knoxville inspires affection as the perpetrator who recruits the others to carry out his insane ideas but ultimately proves to be the craziest son of a gun among them.

It's all pretty hysterical, in a cathartic, if cringe-inducing way, but it becomes too much for one sitting, as even the participants themselves are at times shocked by what unfolds. One leaves the film feeling exhausted -- and a little dirty. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve-O, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Chris Pontius, Preston Lacy, Dave England and Ehren McGhehy. Directed by Jeff Tremaine. Written by Sean Cliver and Preston Lacy. Produced by Jeff Tremaine, Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville. A Paramount release. Comedy. Rated R for extremely crude and dangeroust stunts throughout, sexual content, nudity and language. Running time: 92 min.

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