The Jackass Franchise (2002 – 2022) Review

I don’t usually review franchises as a whole but the Jackass movies are so similar and deliver practically the same film with each instalment that this just seemed the easier option. As a general point, it goes without saying that if you are not a fan of the TV show, or grown men hurting, embarrassing and degrading themselves, then the Jackass movies are not for you and nothing here will change your mind. If you are a fan of the above, these films continue to deliver what made Jackass such a huge success for MTV originally.

Jackass the Movie (2002)

The first film is clearly a “throw it all at the wall and see what sticks” attempt at bringing the series to the big screen. It doesn’t really do anything that wasn’t in the TV show and the fact that it is on the big screen does little to change the format. It does have a good nostalgic feel to it though and you will soon remember the charm of each of the “characters” and why you loved the show.

It is very hit and miss though, with some of the bits landing perfectly and other aspects bombing hard. This is soon made up for by the very quick pace, with few segments lasting too long. This helps for the gross-out aspects, which are not for me personally but is a detriment for the parts which could benefit from more time, especially the pranks.

Unfortunately, lots more bombs than lands and it lacks the proper stand-out moments which make this worth a movie.

Rating – 2

Jackass Number Two (2006)

Its clear that the first film gave the Jackass team the confidence to go bigger and better as the stunts grow in size and subsequently quality. This movie feels like an event, with a bigger budget and much more time spent on the different aspects. This makes for a funnier movie, which plays on the friendships and behind the scenes much more than the first did. It is as quick-paced as the first film too, meaning no stunt outstays its welcome. This is good because again, a lot doesn’t land or is just bland. The gross-out aspects return too, which will always get a negative mark for me.

Rating – 3

Jackass 2.5 (2007)

The “bonus movie” plays it much more like a documentary and there are interesting points to see and reveal with the interviews and “making of.” It is a movie made-up of the parts of the film which weren’t deemed good enough though, so while there are lots of solid stunts and good moments, its nothing must-see or revolutionary. In fact, at times its really clear to see why some stunts were cut from the original.

Rating – 3

Jackass 3D (2010)

Its a simple change but adding elements linked to 3D made for much more of an event movie this time around. You could see the extra care, detail and effort which went into the stunts, making this one feel like the first Jackass movie which was actually worthy of the big screen and a clear step-up from the TV show. Ironically, its actually the smaller stunts and pranks between the crew which make for the most entertaining aspects though. It also doesn’t quite do enough to differentiate itself widely and the gross-out is as bad as ever.

Rating – 3.5

Jackass 3.5 (2011)

Now that the .5 is an established aspects of the movie releases, this is a film which feels like a decent movie in itself rather than just an added extra. The bigger stunts get more of a behind the scenes feature and it gives those stunts more time to breathe, with decent added elements. This film also feels much more like a documentary, with a lot of interviews and “making-of,” particularly concerning the attempt to make Jackass 3D. It does suffer from relying on cut footage though, which will always pale in comparison to the “main film.”

Rating – 3

Jackass Forever (2022)

There is something really jarring about seeing the Jackass guys back but having aged so much. It does make for a weird dynamic as these old guys are still doing the same stupid stuff which made them famous. Due to the bigger gap between movies, this feels like much more of an event and is played like one too, with the grandest and weirdest opening yet. The stunts are still as inventive, if not even more childish, which considering the age of the gang, makes it even funnier. What is encouraging is the “new faces” which have been added, surely in an attempt to add more life to the Jackass franchise. These guys fit in well, each taking a familiar role but putting themselves through just as much punishment as the original team. It doesn’t do anything too new or revolutionary but by this point, if it isn’t broken, no point trying to fix it.

Rating – 4

Jackass 4.5 (2022)

Unlike any other, this is a documentary with bonus stunts rather than the other way around. Covid, the huge gap between movies and a new cast make the exploration of the making of this movie even more interesting. These aspects are fun and make for solid viewing but the rest is the usual stunts which aren’t quite big, funny or inventive enough for the proper movie. There is enough added detail and bonus material to make this worth watching though.

Rating – 4

Overall, The Jackass franchise slowly grows in confidence and event status with each new movie. It starts re-treading old ground but adds ambition with every entry, eventually delivering the best movie yet with the fourth instalment. The documentaries also improve, going from “bonus footage” to solid behind the scenes movies in their own right, which add decent back-story to the making of this ridiculous franchise.

Franchise rating – 3.5

(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)

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