When Sofia Coppola dies on the steps of the opera in “Godfather III,” it’s impossible not to do a little dance — the misery of watching her act has come to an end. Granted, he’s not trying to act, but the sight of Johnny Knoxville getting repeatedly gored by a bull or bitten by an anaconda in “Jackass: Number Two” offers a similar cathartic joy.
The movie begins with the good old gang running through the streets of suburbia with a herd of bulls on their heels — bulls that want to kill Johnny Knoxville and his demented entourage almost as much as you do. Think about it: If they died in those opening moments of the film, you could enjoy a lovely evening of washing your hair, or vacuuming your floor, or even gouging out your eyes with a rusty grapefruit spoon.
If you’re short on funds with which to buy a ticket, you might be better off buying a poisonous snake, a hand grenade, or a crossbow and having your roommate do you in, “Jackass”-style. You’ll get the true “Jackass” experience without having to watch a stunt titled “the butt chug.”
For those viewers out there who saw the original “Jackass” movie, you may share the sentiment that Bam Margera expresses at one point in the sequel:
“I’d rather rip my dick off and throw it in the river than do it again.”
The pain inflicted on the movie’s audience rivals the pain inflicted on the cast during the film’s myriad of ill-advised stunts. So yes, watching this movie is like having the shape of male genitalia branded on your butt, or like piercing your own cheek with a fishhook, or like being trapped in a limo filled with bees, or like eating horse manure, or like having a leech attached to your eye. You don’t even have to go all the way to the theater to gag — just read that list of nauseating activities a few more times.
There are a few redeeming moments, though. Spike Jonze wreaks havoc while dressed as an old lady whose breasts won’t stay entombed inside her dress. That may not be the classiest manifestation of humor ever to grace the silver screen, but it’s definitely chuckle-worthy.
On the other hand, when you’ve finished your chuckle, you have to ask yourself which is worse: that there is a moment in the film in which someone declares, “We have a rectal bleeding, another first for ‘Jackass,’” or the fact that citizens of our fine country of fields of golden wheat, really fast food, 24-hour drugstores, Aloe Vera toilet paper and ultimate frisbee are paying to hear somebody declare it with such cheer?
The strangest thing about this and every installment in the “Jackass” saga is that each time someone does something stupid, you can’t help but feel surprised — surprised in the way that a child is surprised each time you take away its toy. In the “Jackass” scenario, though, the “toy” is your faith in humanity.
If you need a dose of utterly stupid humor, perhaps Blockbuster (or your master’s office) can supply you with some classics such as: “Dude Where’s My Car,” “Dumb and Dumber,” “Wayne’s World,” “Old School,” “Anchorman,” “Super Troopers,” or any number of similar comedies. You may not see someone drink horse semen in these films, but they drain brain cells just as effectively.
Don’t be disheartened, though. At least we can all look forward to the day when “Jackass: Number Two” is released on DVD. Then, with the magical aid of scene selection, we can just watch the moments where Johnny Knoxville is almost — sigh — fatally wounded.