My Summer Comfort Movie: Jackass 3D (2010)


While perhaps a somewhat unconventional choice, for me, the nudity, gross-out and prank-filled ‘Jackass 3D’ is my ultimate summer comfort movie. Warm, funny, and with an infinite “rewatchability” factor, it’s one film I usually watch at least once a year.

Released in 2010, the film follows on from MTV’s 2000-2001 Jackass series, starring Johnny Knoxville as the leader of an ensemble cast of loveable idiots that take on various painful or vulgar stunts and pranks. Despite the short runtime, the series expanded into two feature films in 2002 and 2006 respectively with ‘Jackass: The Movie’ and ‘Jackass Number Two’, and would later be followed by Jackass 3D and Jackass Forever in 2010 and 2022 respectively. Although all four films are well worth any comedy fan’s time, to me, the third film captures a carefree, summer mood the best. Particularly in recent years, many comedy films have been described as best enjoyed by switching your brain off for two hours, soaking up the mindless entertainment. While this can be seen as somewhat of a criticism, I think it describes Jackass 3D in the best way possible. There is no big, overarching story designed to make you think. In fact, there’s no plot to the film whatsoever. It’s simply 100 minutes of people performing stupid stunts and pranks, but it is all in good fun.

Credit: Paramount

Credit: Paramount

Although this premise is not unique to the third film in particular, a greater sense of its easy-going, perfect-for-summer vibe is created by it being a later film in the franchise. By this point, most of the cast have been friends for close to two decades, coming across clearly on screen with a sense that they are a singular, compact group that still cannot believe they can take part in such dangerous stunts. Even with Knoxville and Steve-O being the clear ‘leaders’ of the group, there is never a feeling that any of the cast see themselves as better than the others, perhaps somewhat surprising in a film that focuses on a group of ballsy men attempting to take as much pain as they can!

Ultimately, the film simply wouldn’t work in the same way if all the camaraderie of the cast and crew wasn’t there, but it is. When somebody gets pranked, they clearly expect to receive the same treatment later, removing any sense of mean-spiritedness that may otherwise permeate the film. For example, Bam Margera features in several slow-motion scenes in which he punches an unexpecting cast member’s face, all set to the Rocky theme song Gonna Fly Now. Later on, Steve-O gets revenge by making Margera fall into a box of what he believes are real snakes, with them instead only being plush toys. It’s all in good fun, with all the cast receiving as good as they give.

The film also frequently focuses on the absurd, such as a particularly memorable scene in which Jason “Wee Man” Acuña stars in a ludicrously over-the-top bar fight amongst several other short people to the bemusement of the bar’s patrons. In another moment, Preston Lacey takes an American football “right in the kisser” by pro-NFL placekicker Josh Brown. Of course, it is a stupid feat and the outcome of severe pain is obvious, but Lacey takes it all in good spirit much like they all do throughout the film – which is another reason why something that focuses so much on embarrassment and injury can also be so much fun.

The fun is also greatly enhanced by the film’s brilliant soundtrack. Filled with punk that harks back to the group’s skateboarding roots, songs such as Cock Sparrer’s ‘I Got Your Number’, and The Blasters’ ‘I’m Shakin’ reflect the manic, adrenaline-inducing moments in which they are placed with. The film’s closing credits are set to a special version of Weezer’s ‘Memories’, featuring the cast providing gang vocals to the already anthemic chorus, leaving Jackass 3D on a touching note as the cast’s long-time friendship can be read into almost every line of the song. Although these sentiments of comradeship are even more present in the later ‘Jackass Forever’. While it is similarly outrageously fun, dangerous and vulgar, it is also somewhat tainted by Margera’s drug-based dismissal, and the strikingly present COVID-19 restrictions on filming.

Credit: Paramount

Reaching its 18+ BBFC certificate every few minutes, there’s no doubt that ‘Jackass 3D’ certainly won’t be for everyone. However, for me, it not only perfects the ‘Jackass’ formula but also the fun ‘summer movie’ formula, making it a necessary comfort watch for me during the long, hot months. “Fun” may be a too-simple word to describe it, but it works perfectly. It’s light, never taking itself too seriously, and is arguably filmed in the best circumstances of the series. Above all, the cast’s long-standing relationships together are infectiously funny, making what could quite easily be disturbing viewing into sheer, mindless pleasure; the crux of its success for me.


About Author

Leave A Reply