New dimension gives ‘Jackass’ bigger, sicker stunts

You never know what’s going to pop out of a pit of balls when these jackasses are involved. We’re surprised it didn’t come straight out of Johnny Knoxville’s pants.

Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve–O and Wee Man continue to act like adolescents in their latest film, “Jackass 3–D,” the third installment of their hit franchise.

When the crew isn’t decked-out in ridiculous costumes, they still dress like high schoolers.
During the credits, Knoxville’s daughter is briefly on screen to sucker–punch a crewmember. At first I thought the teenager was Johnny’s significant other.
Of course, the illusion of youth isn’t all that hard to pull off when you say farewell to friends by kicking them in the privates.
For much of “Jackass 3–D,” the old, violent humor manages to remain fresh.
This film proves that watching dudes get smacked in the face, tasered, pissed on, pounded by bulls and shot with paintball guns at close range is still laugh out loud hilarious.
Unfortunately, other rehashes just didn’t bring it like the classics.
The new ‘old man’ skits fell particularly flat compared to classics like “Old Man Balls,” in which Knoxville disguises himself as an elderly man who wears tight shorts that are a little too revealing.
Also incomparable is the original “Bad Grandpa,” a hilarious stunt where Knoxville once again dresses decades older  and horrifies onlookers as he gives his adolescent grandson alcohol.
The gross–outs also lacked punch. After just about every scene involving Preston Lacy’s sweaty ass, the focus shifts to a certain cameraman who vomits without fail, signaling to the audience that yes, you too should be sickened.
The worst moments aren’t failed skits, but failed technology.
As far as I can tell, the only way to watch “Jackass 3–D” is in 3–D, and even then it might miss the point.
One sporting contest between Steve–O and Ehren known as “Beehive Tetherball” would have been great if it weren’t for a bunch of blurry bees flickering in front of the camera.
Who watches “Jackass” to feel like they’re a part of the experience?
We’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.
But 3–D camerawork is only part of the reason for the film’s much–expanded budget, which is almost four times as much as the first installment in 2002.
The difference? This time the set–pieces are far more extravagant then anything from the show or previous movies.
Now, the crew has a Lamborghini, an L–39 jet fighter, explosives and gigantic cranes at their disposal, all of which they use to maximum effect.
These new toys help to provide monster stunts that constitute some of the most memorable moments in “Jackass” history, such as a Jet Ski stunt in which Knoxville rides the bike off a ramp and through a wall of bushes.
Although these colossal stunts are among the most shocking moments, it’s the simple stuff that works the best.
There’s nostalgia to the backyard one–upmanship of combining some tethers and skateboards to bungee off a ramp and into an above–ground pool.
When the pool starts leaking, big Preston Lacy swan dives in and swims through the hole, causing the water to flood out and the whole Jackass gang — and film audiences — to erupt in laughter.
The film closes with a quasi-sentimental montage showing the casts’ primitive starts in stunt-artistry.
Now I get it.
We’re the ones who demand the 3–D and the flashy sets. Knoxville and company are out of touch, and that’s why they’re still great: the “Jackass” boys are relics of a different generation, but they never got old.

Top 5 Jackass Props

5. Fists: Great for sneak attacks, the fist is both the most rudimentary and most common prop utilized to deliver pain throughout the Jackass series. Punching your friends is also easily copied by even the most disadvantaged, so this one has great repeat value.

4. Skateboards: Skateboards are  typically used in skits with self-inflicted wounds, especially when the crew attempts impossible jumps or gets tugged behind something traveling much, much faster than your average shredder can handle.

3. Paintball guns: In one famous skit from the series, the boys hold a Mexican standoff at about 10 yards, sans clothing. Paintballs hurt when you’re wearing a winter coat. They puncture when your only protection is bare flesh.

2. Mini bikes: Nothing is funnier than a grown man on a motorcycle that’s the size of a Big Wheel, besides maybe a grown man on a Big Wheel traveling 50 miles per hour off a dirt-bike ramp.

1. Preston Lacy and Wee Man: More props than team members, Preston Lacy and Wee Man are great because they’re always down to be thrown vast distances, normally into other characters, bodies of water or solid walls.