‘Jackass 4.5’ Rises Below Vulgarity

The best thing to say about Jackass 4.5 is what Mel Brooks told a woman who wasn’t a fan of his movie The Producer and called it vulgar. Brooks responded that the movie “rises below vulgarity.”

Released recently on Netflix, the documentary-style movie like all previous Jackass point 5s is part behind the scenes look at the theatrical version and part deleted scenes. As I stated in my original post of Jackass Forever, many decades from now, anthropologists will probably study these movies as an example of how people behave and what they’re willing to subject themselves to for entertainment.

I’m almost certain people have been pulling pranks on each other since the dawn of human civilization. It’s only in the last 100 years, the motion picture was able to capture it. Dick Clark and Ed McMahon used to do it on their show TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes. You had Candid Camera and its many variations which began right there with the dawn of television. Then, Bob Saget, may he rest in peace, spent years hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos where regular people submitting videos of themselves getting hit in the crotch or having accidents around the house. And that show has been going since 1989.

And we laughed, because I think it goes with another Brooks saying: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall in an open sewer and die.”

Originally Jackass Forever began filming in March of 2020. And then, there was the Covid-19 pandemic and the production shut down for seven months. During this time, Johnny Knoxville, one of the main performers and co-creators of the show and movie, had his hair turn grey. And seeing Knoxville at only 50 with a nice silver hair could be a reflection on the worry that he and others went through during this time.

But one thing they mention that I didn’t notice was how the safety protocols cut down on how many jokes they could play on unsuspecting people. Part of the joy of the Jackass show and previous movies was seeing them pull these pranks on others. While most of the pranks this time are played on each other. Comic/actor Eric Andre, who participates with the regular team, gets a literal baptism by fire.

To describe some of the stunts and jokes they perform may not sound funny, but seeing the performers do them is what makes me laugh and will make you hopefully laugh too. I wish the Impractical Jokers had done this with their movie rather than trying to stick to a frame story that didn’t really work. There’s a lot nudity in this movie and I mean a lot of male nudity. It seems these guys are just as comfortable being buck naked as they are fully cothed which I think says a lot of their relationship over the years. Joining the original gang is Rachel Wolfson who talks about how it’s an initiation to see them naked.

Along with Knoxville, most of the gang consisting of Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Dave England, Preston Lacy and Danger Ehren McGhehey are starting to show their age. But even though they may be getting too old to perfom the stunts, I’m almost certain we haven’t seen the last Jackass movie. Along with Wolfson, other newcomers, such as Zach Holmes, who recalls how he used to watch the show as a child, Eric Manaka, and Sean McInerney, aka Poopies, are willing to submit their bodies to the stunts and pranks. Ryan Dunn died in a car accident in 2011 and there was some controversy over suspected substance abuse that kept Bam Margera away from the production.

Andre, himself, had appeared in the 2021 movie Bad Trip, co-produced by Jackass co-creator Jeff Tremaine, that featured similar pranks and stunts performed. So, it’s quite possible he may appear in the inevitable fifth theatrical Jackass movie. I’m sure the title will be something like Jackass: The Next Generation. Holmes is only 30 and the first Jackass movie was released in 2002. As long as its popularity stays, I’m sure there will be more Jackass movies.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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