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SCREEN SCENES: "Jackass Number Two"

By Brian Segna

Sept. 28, 2006 9:00 p.m.

"Jackass Number Two"
Director Jeff Tremaine
PARAMOUNT PICTURES/MTV FILMS

Johnny Knoxville and his crew of mentally twisted stuntmen have
taken things to a new level of masochistic ridiculousness ““
so ridiculous that stunts such as letting a leech suck the blood
out of an eyeball and shoving a massive metal fishhook through the
face are easily forgotten.

“Jackass Number Two,” the sequel to
“Jackass,” offers another insane montage of
death-defying stunts. Knoxville, with the help of Bam Margera,
Chris Pontius, Steve-O and others, performs skits so dangerous,
nauseating and horribly wonderful that you can’t help but
either laugh hysterically or cringe in an
I-can’t-believe-he’s-doing-that, empathetic and
(hopefully) not sympathetic way.

The gang’s new acts include genitalia snake-biting, human
rocket-launching and a round of “Medicine Ball
Dodgeball.”

But it is the moments when Knoxville blindfolds himself and
stands in the path of a charging bull, or when Wee Man bungee jumps
over a lake ““ attached to an absurdly fat man instead of a
stationary post ““ that you realize the new stunts are somehow
more creative and clever than their predecessors.

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The film’s skits make for a weirdly entertaining flurry of
madness that leaves one staring for a moment in silence, wondering
how this group of creatively warped and self-destructive human
beings ever found each other, let alone convinced anyone to supply
money to fund their disturbing addictions.

But it is a madness that continues to entertain. And numerous
camera angles allow the audience to catch every last bit. The
cameras get so close, in fact, that cameramen often unwillingly
become part of the action.

“Number Two” takes the “Jackass” concept
to a new level by shocking not only the audience but also its own
stars. For example, Knoxville masterminds one scene in which a
locked limousine filled with unsuspecting friends is filled with a
swarm of bees, and another involving an elaborate hostage scenario.
His costars are literally left crying, urinating themselves and
utterly paranoid.

If self-destructive and perverted humor isn’t your thing,
the sequel will probably be 95 minutes of gratuitously violent,
naked and distasteful material. But, for lovers of
“Jackass,” the antics of its sequel will be anything
but unsatisfying.

E-mail Segna at [email protected].

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