The digital release Jackass 3.5 is in many ways more inspired than Jackass 3-D. Perhaps it is because they include failed bits, but it feels like this collection pushes the boundaries of creative stunts more than the latest theatrical film.
The performers’ personalities are on display even more. In 3-D, Steve-O lamented, “Why do I have to be Steve-O” before letting a tee ball hit him in the nuts. In 3.5 he lets an alligator snapping turtle bite him on the ass. This shows way more of Steve-O’s personality as he screams, “F*** F*** F***” while it hangs onto a juicy chunk of cheek. The most telling part is that Steve-O complains he knew it wouldn’t let go, so his prophecy was fulfilled. Any time Chris Pontius introduces a bit it’s brilliant.
3.5 certainly feels more dangerous. In Doo Doo Falls, Dave England just falls off the vehicle, forget about riding it down a ramp. With the flaming gauntlet, Steve-O does what has to be the most dangerous Jackass stunt ever attempted. The graphic stitching-up of Johnny Knoxville’s hand shows what’s at stake.
The failures seem like they’d have more potential if they’d just stuck it out, but the displays of athletic prowess are mighty. Dave England and Bam Margera can jump really high for impressive flying kicks. Barrel surfing is actually a noble athletic endeavor and Chris Pontius and Bam Margera manage to stand for a few seconds. The Incredible Nut Shots are really clever setups and you see how hard they are to land, so it’s even more impressive.
There’s definitely more nudity, and way close up. Slow motion close-ups of Wee Man’s balls complement medium shots of Pontius’s limp dick twirling around. Enema Long Jump may qualify as the most disgusting and most inspired Jackass stunt ever. They’re measuring athletic ability and bowel movements in the same exercise.
Jackass 3.5 is a treat for a digital download or video on demand. It’s brand new material, completely at the level of the theatrical franchise, directly available in the privacy of your home.
Jackass 3.5 is available April 1 on Joost.com. I got to see the whole thing, but Joost viewers will get weekly doses, one stunt at a time, updated Tuesdays and Fridays on Joost.com.