Anyone unfamiliar with the Jackass collection (a prior feature-length “movie” -– really a collection of skits –- and a series on MTV) will definitely not want to go into the boys’ second film, “Jackass: Number Two” (get it?), without first consulting these past works to ensure they’re mentally prepared. Being physically prepared wouldn’t be a bad idea either; if you absolutely must go, bring that little plastic trashcan from your office, maybe grab a blindfold, and please, for your own sake and that of everyone in the theatre, go on an empty stomach.
Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O and others from the Jackass crew return, this time as repeat offenders, offering the same brand of “humor” that has been grossing out anyone who cares to watch since the TV series started in 2000. They abuse their bodies in ways so cruel they would be imprisoned if they committed the same acts against anyone but themselves, and even the scenes of nakedness (of which there are many) are painful, if only because one can’t help but wince at all the red, purple, yellow and black bruises their bodies have sustained as side-effects (or are they the primary goal?) of the stunts.
This second film is arguably more elaborate, more shocking, more repulsive, sensationalist and gag-inducing than the first. The boys haven’t grown up at all in the time from their first film to this one, and their personalities seem perpetually fixated on trivializing danger and shunning responsibility. Indeed, when Knoxville dresses as an old man and guest Spike Jonze dons an old woman bodysuit (both delighting in surprising unexpected viewers with vulgarities), it simply drives home the point that the Jackass crew uses their stunts to test their immunity -– to skull fractures, to deadly infections, to permanent damage, and, most importantly, to growing up.
Parents should know that this is a documentary-style movie about a real-life series of disgusting and extremely dangerous behavior, including obtaining and drinking animal ejaculate (weirdly, the one item in the film x-ed out to ensure an R rating), being bitten on the genitals and the arm by snakes, putting a fishhook through a lip and being used as human shark bait, and being gored by a bull. There is explicit nudity, explicit excretory humor (human and animal), and graphic violence. Characters use strong language.