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Reviewing the Reviews: 'Jackass Number Two'

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91842__jack_lStop the presses! Critics across the nation like Jackass Number Two. They really, really like it. Or at least they don’t hate the 95 minutes of masochistic, tasteless pranks performed by Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius (pictured), and pals that hits theaters today. If this information comes as a surprise you, then read on. There’s some critical comparisons here that’ll raise more eyebrows than a beer enema. Or, um, maybe not. Anyhow, be sure to let your fellow PopWatchers know what you thought of Jackass Number Two if you happen to catch it this weekend.

Jake Coyle, Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Jackass Number Two might have more in common with film history than it would appear. In one scene, Steve-O attaches a leech to his eyeball, a fitting bookend to Luis Bunuel’s eyeball cutting in 1929’s Un Chien Andalou.”

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: ”The only person in the history of movies as devoted to subverting bodily norms is David Cronenberg. And not even he’s come up with a character who can receive a beer enema with such glee.”

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: ”Watching Jackass, Joseph Campbell would probably think of the Acapulco cliff divers who have plunged 130 feet into the Pacific for centuries, or the young Masai warriors who mark passage into adulthood by killing a lion.”

Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter: ”Whether or not it goes down in cinema history as The Godfather Part 2 of self-mutilation documentaries, Jackass Number Two– aptly named given an even greater obsession with bodily fluids –ensures that the screams of laughter come fast and furious in this fratboy’s fever dream of a circus sideshow.”

Christopher Borrelli, Toledo Blade: ”Is it art? Of course, now I can hear you shouting at this newspaper: ‘Who cares about art? It’s called Jackass: Number Two.’ To which I reply: The Jackass folks think it’s art. And maybe it is, a kind of masochistic performance art teetering on the verge of becoming a snuff film.”

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press: ”Scholarly dissertations may someday be written about the movie’s playful blend of scatology and homoeroticism.”

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: ”The second craziest jackass fool might be skateboarder Bam Margera,who willingly (sort of) submits to having the image of a penis burnedonto his buttocks with a red-hot branding iron. You might struggle tokeep your popcorn down when he pulls down his jeans later to show howbadly the wound has festered.”*

[*No, there’s not a wacky-scholarly reference buried in this quote,but Slezak didn’t want to be the only one with that image branded onhis brain.]

Originally posted September 22 2006 — 3:17 PM EDT

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