Jackass 4.5 is now streaming on Netflix.
Following in the tradition of Jackass sequels and their sequels, Jackass 4.5 offers both behind-the-scenes glimpses and a litany of suppressed gags. It’s by no means a complete movie – or as complete as a regular Jackass movie can feel – but as a follow-up to the brilliant, nostalgia- and stupidity-fueled Fooled foreverit’s a fun bonus feature.
Like previous Jackass in-between episodes, it’s around 90 minutes long and takes us through sit-down interviews that go into detail about Forever’s gags or set up previously unreleased segments without saying too much. Some of these bonus sketches have been removed for the time, such as the Bad Grandpa segment teased in the original trailer, which sees Johnny Knoxville’s octogenarian evil character Irving Zisman fired up, while other stunts just didn’t go well enough (or badly enough) to make it to the big screen. It’s a lightweight and decently informative process, which is especially useful in the age of streaming, when movies are rarely packed with bonus content like DVDs and Blu-rays. Since this isn’t even the first entry of its kind, it’s clear how far ahead of the curve the Jackass boys were with movies 2.5 and 3.5 back in the day.
In keeping with the mood of the feature film, it opens with a surf gag gone wrong, reintroducing us to Jackasses new and old amid innocent (if painful) summertime fun. The nostalgic elements of Forever, which took the form of aged stuntmen trying to recapture their glory days, are broken down through casual conversations, from memories of how the reunion happened, to discussion of the pitfalls of trying to live recklessly about 20 years later. Of course, there are still plenty of gags, from extra stunts that mutilate bodies and send them spinning through the air, to more naked camaraderie that celebrates those bodies (even at their most disgusting), to elaborate costumes in the only purpose of making the pain feel twice as fully. As always, the cackling joy of fellow Jackass viewers further multiplies the fun.
While it’s not as magical as seeing the original Jackasses pass the baton via tests of physical strength, Jackass 4.5 offers a wider window into the actual process by which newcomers Zach, Poopies, Eric, Rachel, Jasper, and Dark Shark were chosen in the first place. The fact that they each seem to fit in from minute one is nothing if not reassuring (especially with a new show on the horizon). There’s a gleefully silly initiation ritual, involving – for lack of a more sophisticated term – a hot sauce enema, and in keeping with the full movie, Danger Ehren gets the worst of it despite not being part of the stage. Basically, it’s more Jackass Forever, albeit less emotional.
The most unique part of the process this time is that production had to shut down for seven months during COVID. When the cast and crew returned, they found themselves right in the middle of a wonderfully insane paradox, where they had to take heightened security precautions just to put themselves in mortal danger. It’s perhaps the most intriguing peek behind the curtain, and what most makes the Jackass series feel like a well-oiled (or well-lubricated) production machine roughly two decades old, despite the fact that nearly everyone involved feels like a family of tight knit knights. Of course, even if they take the pandemic seriously, they can’t pass up the opportunity for some explosive corona-centric pranks just to get back into the groove.
Jackass 4.5 might not hit the hilarious highs or grimacing lows of its parent film, but for those who left Jackass Forever hoping to spend more time with old friends, you can’t really go wrong. There’s at least one of every type of Jackass stunt – vomit, pain, free nut shots, you name it – so even though it’s scattered around, it delivers pretty much what you’d want and expect from one. of them. Long live the donkey; may she reign forever.
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