Audiences, hopefully, will realise just how lucky they are to receive the Jackass troupe on a straight-to-streaming platform. Such luck would not be blessed to those who, just a few years ago, would have to hunt down battered DVD copies of the glorious run of MTV originals. The return of Johnny Knoxville and his gang of self-flogging brutalists was a warm firework of nostalgia, shooting off into the darkness and lighting up what could be a very dim year for feature filmmaking. No matter, because it would appear Jackass Forever director Jeff Tremaine had realised the lull in quality, and subsequently crafted a follow-up, almost immediately, with Jackass 4.5. Blessed. Truly, truly blessed.
Return to where it first began. Looking back on twenty years of Jackass is surprising not just because most of the fans were new-born at the time of this first release, but because of the genuine cultural impact this group had. A whole generation learned how not to take a riot bullet to the stomach, a punch to the head from Butterbean or to go toe-to-toe with skateboarding pandas. These are wise life lessons contained within this Jeff Tremaine feature, one that inspired a love for danger and respect for it too. Not because Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and company are dumb for damaging themselves, but because it is clearer and clearer that the adrenaline-junkie group are dead set on exploiting themselves into having a good time. It works exceptionally well.
Audiences will know by now whether or not Jackass as an idea or point of interest is for them. They have had six films before Jackass Forever to figure that out. For those umming and ahhing about whether or not to see the latest spectacle of self-inflicted violent entertainment, they merely need to look back and reflect on how they felt the last time they saw Steve-O launched into the air while inside of a port-a-loo. If it made you queasy, you’d best avoid Jackass Forever, which takes the silver fox cast and a few new recruits into some dangerous stunts and rehashes of old classics that almost put them out for the count the first time around.