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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jackass Number 2

I must admit, I despised the first movie Jackass, on the surface there was nothing of value. I personally found the original film to be more gross than funny, and similar to watching a car wreck at high speeds. You know nothing good is going to happen but for some strange reason you can't turn your head from the tragedy you are about to observe.

It wasn't long before I found myself wanting to see the Number 2, especially when hearing several friends comment on how funny the movie was after seeing it over the weekend. Truth is, this was actually different than the comments I had heard regarding the first movie. Virtually everything regarding the first movie was about how gross it was, notice my comments in the second paragraph. After hearing the comments from friends, and their insistence that the movie was one of the funniest they had ever seen, I decided to take the challenge, suck it up, and go to work. You know, the work of sometimes doing things you don’t really want to do, which is why it is called work.

It was this last Monday evening when I decided to go see the film. I full expected the weekend rush to be over, and for there to be very few people in attendance, especially after coupled with the fact I was seeing the movie in an art house as opposed to a regular theater. What I got was a surprise, a surprise in more ways than one.

The first thing that surprised me, is despite the fact I arrived at the movie some thirty minutes early, a choice seat was not available. This said something to me, this movie would have more legs than I had anticipated. During an off night, the theater was pretty much full, and an early week night at that where patrons had to pay full price to get in. I was also surprised at the number of females in what has traditionally been referred to as male adolescent humor. While the guys still out numbered the girls, there were far more females than I anticipated. The third thing that surprised me, was the amount of laughing I actually did in the movie. It is at this point, I don't know whether to confess, repent, speculate, or just simply review.

The truth is, that in a traditional sense of the word, Jackass is not a movie. There is no plot, no acting, no nothing that resembles a regular movie. Just a bunch of guys who got their start on MTV doing outrageous stunts and acts that to many are gross and out of line. It is the type of thing that many a high school and college male would engage in, and unfortunately for many, with devastating consequences. The producers of the show know this, which is one reason to both start and end the movie with a byline that states the acts seen, or just seen are dangerous and should never be tried by anyone.

Jackass Number 2, involves every form of gross, sophomoric humor that one could imagine. Surprisingly, many, will find it funny. I have to admit, I did, and don't recall laughing so much in a movie in a very long time. I heard several people upon leaving the movie support the very ascertains that many of my friends had who had seen the movie over the weekend. It was simply, for many of them, the funniest movie they had ever seen.

I guess that brings me to the speculation and serious side of this movie. While likely not intended, I have to wonder, what is it about today's world where we find these types of things funny? What is it that has so many going to the theaters to have a good laugh? Truth is, I can't help but believe it is in part, living in a society with a focus on politics, war, hunger, poverty, and on and on. We as a society need to laugh, we need to have a good time. If it takes a movie involving gross, cruel pranks, then so be it. While many will find a reason to be critical of this, I tend to think that is a part of the way God has made us. There are all kinds of verses in the Bible for example that speak of laughter, joy, happiness, and so forth, but truth is, not many people live in that way. Unfortunately because we don't practice and observe those types of behavior on a regular basis, we look for humor where we can find it. When there are few, or lacking efforts at providing that humor, we unfortunately get stuck with shows like Jackass Number 2.

I'm not here to speculate on if this is a good thing or not, just speculate on why it is that the movie has done so well this weekend, and why so many seem to be enjoying the movie. Maybe if we want better, we can find ways to display that, share that, and be that, that is being happy with lots of laughter.

I won’t say you need to see this movie, for many, and for many good reasons, there are all kinds of reasons to not see it. But for those that need it, I suspect it is a good thing. Whether we recognize it, or accept it or not this film is filling a void for some.

On a scale of 1 - 10, a surprisingly fun time with a score of 6

Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.

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