Archive for September, 2006
Director: Jeff Tremaine
A movie like this is almost impossible to review. While none of the people involved are playing characters, I wouldn’t call Jackass Number Two a documentary and while I laughed as hard as I have for any movie lately, I wouldn’t call it a comedy (though it’s certainly more comedy than documentary). Reviewing this movie would be like critiquing your friend falling on his ass. Jackass Number Two is essentially like watching good friends laughing at each other for 95 minutes.
The stunts/practical jokes run the spectrum from slightly tasteless to truly disgusting. There’s something in the movie that will offend almost everyone. That said, I couldn’t stop laughing for most of the running time (inlcuding the opening and closing credits). Notably funny segments include Bam swapping in a counterfeit next to his sleeping mother, the fan loveletter in the hotel, and the terrorist incident. Saying anything more would ruin the fun.
As amateurish as the Jackass boys appear, the stunts and the movie itself are remarkably well-produced and professional. There’s real talent in front of and behind the camera, with Johnny Knoxville the clear standout.
Watching Jackass Number Two, I experienced something that rarely happens when I watch a movie: I didn’t want it to end. In fact, I want to go back and watch all the episodes of the Jackass TV series and the first movie again.
Sure, Jackass is stupid and dangerous and low-brow and disgusting… but I still laughed my ass off.Colin Le Sueur
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Jason Statham is carving out quite the little niche for himself in action films. Though he started his career in British gangster films, he’s recently starred in a number of high action spectacles that showcased his physical strength and charisma. There is a good actor under all of the action, though buried under physicality and aggression. Crank, the latest in Statham’s action résumé, is loud, violent, misogynistic, but also a lot of fun.
Almost literally a video game come to life, Crank feels more like an adaptation of Grand Theft Auto than another entry in the Transporter series. Beginning with a POV sequence straight out of a first-person shooter, Crank rarely lets the action stop, littering the screen with sex, explosions, and drug use. The film is almost surreal in its imagery and content, with a kinetic and dynamic visual style mixed with genuinely strange characters and situations.
For the most part the acting is good, though almost everyone is over-the-top. Statham plays his role well, though neither his acting nor his stunts are as impressive as his earlier work. Amy Smart seems like she should be in another movie, but that disengage works well with the surrealist tones of the film.
With its mix of weirdness, sex, and violence, I have a feeling this film will go on to grow a decent cult following. While nothing special, Crank is an entertaining way to spend 87 minutes, though I think I’d have more fun playing Grand Theft Auto.Colin Le Sueur