If physical comedy's overriding purpose is to make fools laugh out loud, then the first two Jackass films should be regarded alongside Buster Keaton's slapstick classics. Which is why it's sweet to see the Wild Boys in full force for this sado-masochistic marathon reunion of crotch shots, random assaults, and "beehive tetherball."
Even better: the bittersweet discomfort level has been cranked up several notches. That's due in part — but only in part — to an added third dimension and the gang's new friend Matt, who plays trumpet with his asshole. The Jackass crew had only to outdo themselves, and honcho Johnny Knoxville's posse bravely meet the challenge. Nobody mails in his stunts for a paycheck; Bam Margera and Wee-Man and the rest perform for the love of having projectile dildos and diarrhea fired at their faces (an experience that audiences share in 3D). "Sweatsuit cocktail" goes way overboard on grossness, as Steve-O chugs a cup of Preston Lacy's perspiration (even the cameraman pukes), but most stunts are funnier than they are foul.
It's always been the case that Jackass improved as the budget increased, and anyone who spent the early 2000s blasting sleeping friends with fistfuls of flour will be psyched to witness the new developments in "antiquing." Much as in the first Jackass flick and later MTV episodes, co-producer Spike Jonze (along with his fearless behind-the-scenes team) delivers edgy skate-video æsthetics at a Hollywood level. Combine that with how good these guys have gotten at engineering human slingshots and you have the shit show of the year.