Looking back on the original three seasons of Jackass, it's pretty damn tame by today's standards. At the time it was hilarious and cringe-inducing, but the further you go, the further still you'll have to go to continue eliciting the same level of response from your audience.
Such is the case with Jackass 3D, and indeed the case with the previous entries. The first Jackass movie stepped things up a considerable notch and released the franchise from the constraints of MTV on American TV. The second took things into a considerably more vile, more painful, and more shocking arena - but an arena filled with more laughter than ever before.
Jackass 3D doesn't quite have the same impact of Jackass: Number Two, especially as many of the skits are re-heats of established themes and ideas, but then again there's only so many ways to hurt yourself and make yourself vomit. This might seem like an issue, but in the world of Jackass, it's cheeseburger charm goes down a treat anyway - it's almost like a victory lap. Some of the members are showing their age now, and the closing credits includes 'then and now' footage of all the key players. There's a sense of this being a family of sorts who have grown up together, and it's this vibe which keeps the Jackass experience fresh, and maintains it as the pinacle of the stunt show thing that dominated the 2000's.
More of the same, sure, but there are stand out skits - both of the slapstick and gross-out variety - that keep things moving along nicely. It was a pleasure to see with an audience too, with everyone roaring with laughter or gasping with grimaced disbelief in unison, however when it comes to the 3D it's a mixed bag.
The resurgence of 3D made for a no-brainer when it comes to this sort of material, but also because of the type of presentation often featured in Jackass, and how the technology itself works, you're really getting half of a 3D movie and half of a 2D movie converted (sometimes seemingly not converted at all) into 3D. Certain set pieces worked nicely in 3D however, and afterall, if you're into this kind of entertainment you're going to want to see it in 3D, even if you don't get everything flying into your face.
I look forward to seeing what the DVD/BR release has to offer in terms of cut footage. Apparently there was an awful lot of good stuff cut out, and I have to say that at times you felt like certain members were being short-changed during the flick, but even still it manages to hold together well enough to make for an entertaining old romp for those inclined and acclimated to this sort of fare.
Following on from last year's all-conquering comedy The Hangover, which had a rubbish trailer that didn't inspire much confidence prior to seeing it, comes Todd Philips and Zack Galifianakis - accompanied by RDJ and a funny-looking, self-abusing dog - in a Planes, Trains & Automobiles-a-like ... with a rubbish trailer.
Fortunately, The Hangover turned out to be really quite entertaining, even upon a second viewing, and while Due Date doesn't quite hit some of the sheer fun of the former, once it gets going after a somewhat slow first act, it really starts to cook with some properly hilarious moments. Perhaps the trailer was so rubbish because they - wisely - didn't overexpose the comedy and kept the big gags as surprises for the audience, which wasn't the case with Burke & Hare, which gave away its best gags in the entertaining promos.
The emotional side to the plot is more subtle, or perhaps less explored, than that of Planes, Trains & Automobiles, but instead the shock-comedy factor is turned way up. It's just a good slab of fun, littered throughout which are cameo vignettes that work to varying degrees of success, and while it's not got the infectious sense of chaos which The Hangover had, the two leads (and the dog) hold your funny bones in their hands throughout. Definitely worth a watch.