Jackass Forever Movie Review and Movie Synopsis (2022)
The film is also a fiery, if joyfully odd, example of what critic Matt Singer calls the “legacywhat“- a work of passing the torch from the founding generation of a series to their successors, and integrating reflections on age, physical decline and the inevitability of death into the story rather than pretending to be free from such concerns while whistling through the proverbial graveyard.
Turns out the graveyard here is more than proverbial: there’s a long sequence, consciously mirroring an earlier track, in which Wee Man is staked almost naked in a graveyard with chunks of raw meat laid out on and around his twig and its berries. before the appearance of a vulture. Colleagues dressed as voodoo priests watch, cackling and bawling.
I guess you could call that on the nose too. But you know what else is too much on the nose? Almost every image from every iteration of “Jackass”, including the ones where people get punched on the nose.
Johnny and the crew have long been upfront about these aspects of their craft. Knoxville’s “Bad Grandpa” character, who reappears in “Jackass Forever,” has often played as a sneaky way to forestall questions about desirability — forget dignity! , and beyond. There are times when one or more of the guys just give up, or beg (and receive) mercy, because they fear for their lives, or because some stunt coordinator or animal trainer on set has decided that someone could be killed. and it’s just not worth it. (The interpreter of Jackass Bam Margera is barely in the film and is suing the producers for having violated his civil rights; his trial is very much in tune with the gestalt of “Jackass”.)
I saw “Jackass Forever” on a free radio screening on a cold weeknight, 24 months into a pandemic, after losing several loved ones to Covid, heart issues, cancer, drug addiction and a simple, boring old age, more than 20 years after I first watched “Jackass” on MTV, and on the eve of my youngest son’s 18th birthday. Many people reading this review won’t care about any of that. I bring it up anyway because the film cares enough about it to present the immutable facts of aging, physical infirmity, maturity (or lack thereof) and the elimination of the delusions of youth, and consider them as unflinchingly as an artist staring into the hooked jaws of a spider that is about to bite him in the face.