I never saw Jackass as a TV show or the
first movie, so I apologize for failing to understand the subtleties
and intricate character developments that were mapped out in
those stories. I'm sure I did, too, because I had a hell of
a time understanding the David-Lynchian weaving of plots, subplots
and themes that run through Jackass 2. Some of them are
obvious, particularly the one about our society's lingering
fear of homosexuality that forces men who clearly love each
other to express their need for intimacy through constant and
frequent exposure of their balls. I now understand that they
will stick them to blocks of ice, dress them as puppet mice
and allow themselves to be smothered by very fat men and women
just for the chance to let their friends see their nuts.
I'm know there are subtleties that I missed
in Jackass 2. I don't read the fan sites that delve into
character motivations and conjecture about behind-the-scenes
happenings. For example, did Knoxville strap himself to a rocket
a la Bugs Bunny and blast off over a lake to drown his sorrows
after discovering a secret tryst between his friend Bam Margera
and a man with enormous fake teeth named Steve-o? What does
the gluing of crab-infested pubic hair to a man's face say about
the recent turmoil in the Italian parliament? More than I understood,
To my untrained eyes, Jackass 2 looks
like a compilation of the juvenile hijinks of some stupendously
immature men. Some of the guys may be retarded, and others may
simply be acting retarded to win approval and companionship
from those that are. Not having the proper subject immersion,
though, I will leave it to others to decide which are which.
I laughed at the stupidity, lowbrow comedy and
absurdity of the stunts, including: a fat man strapped by bungee
to a dwarf thrown off a bridge; men on a mini-bike trying to
do a loop-de-loop; men trapped in a kiddie ball bin with an
anaconda; men being bombarded by pellets from a high-powered
anti-riot gun; and men skiing down the snow-packed staircase
of a suburban home. However, I wondered if laughing made me
the butt of the biggest joke of all. No doubt, all this laughter
is the reaction that Knoxville wants. Why else would someone
let himself be repeatedly gored by bulls?
On a more profound level, though, the antics
must be holding a mirror up to our society and bringing the
audience to an understanding about the hurtful damage that prejudice
and intolerance does to its fabric. Will a longtime Jackass
fan please confirm this for me? I mean, right? Nobody's so fucking
stupid he'd eat horseshit, or strap on a mask piped to a farting
man's ass just for kicks. Right? These guys have some higher
calling, don't they?
Because I missed the profundity, I can only
superficially comment on Jackass 2. Many of the stunts
are funny as hell, but the movie runs out of steam halfway through.
It ends with an unfunny and sort of lame Broadway-style musical
number that reeks of the desperation that has ended every single
relationship I ever had. That is, not knowing how to conclude,
I either stand around and say, "uh, so, uh, I guess I'll see
you later," or I punch the other person in the face and run
The ridiculous stunts, such as four men on a
see-saw in a bull arena are dulled by scenes that never build
to much or feel like an in-joke we're not in on. And believe
me, I know that feeling well. Spike Jonez' dresses up like a
naked old lady about three times too many. Knoxville's dirty-old-man
makeup rehashes a stale joke; his old-timer says dirty words.
Tee hee. And an interminably long backfiring gag where one player
dresses like a terrorist was as stillborn as an alcoholic's
tenth pregnancy. I also saw enough balls for awhile. I understand
they are shown in part to help us understand the players' latent
homosexual tendencies, and I support their desire to be outed.
But I still don't need to see so many dicks.
Also, Jackass 2 is all men, all the time.
There are no women except one poor mother who is only the butt
of the gags. I understand that women shatter the gay fantasyland
the movie creates, but I'm pretty sure they can do some funny
shit, too. Fellas, the ladies can be your allies in your fight
for sexual freedom; let them in on the joke.
I'm sure if I understood the deeper meaning
of Jackass 2 I'd give it four or five fingers. But, based
just on what I understood, it's gotta be Three.
You can stop sending money if you want! At long last, the Falcon
is a complete, running beast.