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This week:
Jackass 2

Filthy says:
"Yes, but what does it mean?"

I never saw Jackass as a TV show or the first movie, so I apologize for failing to understand the subtleties and intricate character developments that were mapped out in those stories. I'm sure I did, too, because I had a hell of a time understanding the David-Lynchian weaving of plots, subplots and themes that run through Jackass 2. Some of them are obvious, particularly the one about our society's lingering fear of homosexuality that forces men who clearly love each other to express their need for intimacy through constant and frequent exposure of their balls. I now understand that they will stick them to blocks of ice, dress them as puppet mice and allow themselves to be smothered by very fat men and women just for the chance to let their friends see their nuts.

I'm know there are subtleties that I missed in Jackass 2. I don't read the fan sites that delve into character motivations and conjecture about behind-the-scenes happenings. For example, did Knoxville strap himself to a rocket a la Bugs Bunny and blast off over a lake to drown his sorrows after discovering a secret tryst between his friend Bam Margera and a man with enormous fake teeth named Steve-o? What does the gluing of crab-infested pubic hair to a man's face say about the recent turmoil in the Italian parliament? More than I understood, I'm sure.

To my untrained eyes, Jackass 2 looks like a compilation of the juvenile hijinks of some stupendously immature men. Some of the guys may be retarded, and others may simply be acting retarded to win approval and companionship from those that are. Not having the proper subject immersion, though, I will leave it to others to decide which are which.

I laughed at the stupidity, lowbrow comedy and absurdity of the stunts, including: a fat man strapped by bungee to a dwarf thrown off a bridge; men on a mini-bike trying to do a loop-de-loop; men trapped in a kiddie ball bin with an anaconda; men being bombarded by pellets from a high-powered anti-riot gun; and men skiing down the snow-packed staircase of a suburban home. However, I wondered if laughing made me the butt of the biggest joke of all. No doubt, all this laughter is the reaction that Knoxville wants. Why else would someone let himself be repeatedly gored by bulls?

On a more profound level, though, the antics must be holding a mirror up to our society and bringing the audience to an understanding about the hurtful damage that prejudice and intolerance does to its fabric. Will a longtime Jackass fan please confirm this for me? I mean, right? Nobody's so fucking stupid he'd eat horseshit, or strap on a mask piped to a farting man's ass just for kicks. Right? These guys have some higher calling, don't they?

Because I missed the profundity, I can only superficially comment on Jackass 2. Many of the stunts are funny as hell, but the movie runs out of steam halfway through. It ends with an unfunny and sort of lame Broadway-style musical number that reeks of the desperation that has ended every single relationship I ever had. That is, not knowing how to conclude, I either stand around and say, "uh, so, uh, I guess I'll see you later," or I punch the other person in the face and run away.

The ridiculous stunts, such as four men on a see-saw in a bull arena are dulled by scenes that never build to much or feel like an in-joke we're not in on. And believe me, I know that feeling well. Spike Jonez' dresses up like a naked old lady about three times too many. Knoxville's dirty-old-man makeup rehashes a stale joke; his old-timer says dirty words. Tee hee. And an interminably long backfiring gag where one player dresses like a terrorist was as stillborn as an alcoholic's tenth pregnancy. I also saw enough balls for awhile. I understand they are shown in part to help us understand the players' latent homosexual tendencies, and I support their desire to be outed. But I still don't need to see so many dicks.

Also, Jackass 2 is all men, all the time. There are no women except one poor mother who is only the butt of the gags. I understand that women shatter the gay fantasyland the movie creates, but I'm pretty sure they can do some funny shit, too. Fellas, the ladies can be your allies in your fight for sexual freedom; let them in on the joke.

I'm sure if I understood the deeper meaning of Jackass 2 I'd give it four or five fingers. But, based just on what I understood, it's gotta be Three.

Hey! You can stop sending money if you want! At long last, the Falcon is a complete, running beast.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Pete Hammond of Maxim

The Guardian is "Heart-stopping action! If you're looking for pure screen excitement look no further."

Hollywoodland: "Adrian Brody is superb!"

Filthy's Reading
William Goldman - Five Screenplays

Listening to
Hot Snakes - Thunder Down Under


Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep