There’s no shortage of Jackass movies, and while they’re all entertaining, some installments are better than others.
Anyone who grew up watching MTV is no doubt familiar with Johnny Knoxville and the Jackass crew. The popular early-2000s reality comedy series in which Knoxville and friends performed dangerous or outright stupid stunts resonated with audiences, and inspired three feature-length movies and two spinoffs. However, while fans love to watch the Jackass gang torment themselves, critics have been less than impressed.
The film franchise’s target audience has stayed loyal, but critics have had a lot to say about the outlandish and immature elements of Jackass. Interestingly, while critic scores have generally been low, the movies often earn a high audience rating, with moviegoers praising the Jackass crew for their daring nature and creativity.
With the latest addition, appropriately titled Jackass Forever, arriving Friday in theaters nationwide, it’s time to see which Jackass movies critics enjoyed, and which ones fell flat, averaging scores from the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer and Metacritic consensus.
Jackass: the Movie – 45.5 percent
The first entry in the Jackass film series is also its lowest-ranked. Receiving a 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 42 percent on Metacritic, it’s clear critics were less than enthused with 2002’s Jackass: The Movie. Fans and critics alike agreed that Jackass: The Movie was the most amateur, with a collection of stunts that seemed more impulsive than clever, such as breaking boards over each other’s heads, rigging park benches to collapse in front of bystanders, and snorting wasabi. However, that didn’t stop audiences from loving a feature-length version of the beloved TV show, and today diehard fans maintain that the original Jackass movie captures the spirit of the MTV series better than any of its successors.
Jackass 3D – 60.5 percent
While Jackass 3D may not have been the highest-ranked, most fans agree that, in terms of sheer fun, Jackass 3D takes the cake. Released in 2010, the third movie showcased a different side of the Jackass group, particularly Steve-O, who had achieved sobriety by that point. The group’s interactions seem the most genuine, and while their antics continue to be somewhat grotesque, there’s an added layer of care and nostalgia that packs a surprisingly heartfelt punch. While some critics stated the inclusion of 3D was pointless and contrived, others say the energy and joy the cast bring onscreen is an infectious, albeit guilty, pleasure.
Jackass Number Two – 65 percent
Coming in at No. 1 is 2006’s Jackass Number Two, achieving both the highest audience and critical scores. Jackass Number Two was the peak performance of both the cast and production value, starting off with a hilarious slow-motion homage to the running of the bulls and ending with a surprisingly well-choreographed musical number. Jackass Number Two balanced clever challenges with immature pranks perfectly, giving audiences a variety of slapstick comedy while not taking itself too seriously in the process. With legendary stunts like the minibike loop, the rocket-powered bicycle, the beehive limo and the infamous Terror Taxi, Jackass Number Two truly encapsulates the best stunts and gags the group has to offer.
Although the Jackass films may not have struck a cord with critics, they do have a loyal fan base willing to eat up whatever stunts Knoxville and his friends can concoct. And as the series’ stars can attest, low critical ratings are far down on their list of concerns. Knowing how the likes of Knoxville and Steve-O operate, fans can expect the group to continue injuring themselves for entertainment as long as they can, and in the meantime, viewers can get their fix when Jackass Forever hits theaters on Feb. 4.
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