The Jackass franchise is back and better than ever before. Jackass Forever is scheduled to be theatrically released by Paramount Pictures today on February 4. This time around, the film is getting a high-brow nod of approval.
The film stars Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Danger Ehren and Preston Lacy, joined by newcomers Rachel Wolfson, Sean “Poopies” McInerny, Zach Holmes, rapper Jasper Dolphin and British recruit Eric Manaka.
Directed by Jeff Tremaine, the original Jackass crew return for another round of the show’s trademark absurdity, often involving rising levels of danger—the key to the laughter. This time, Johnny and the team push the envelope even further. The movie is produced by Spike Jonze, along with Tremaine and Knoxville—generally the same teams we’re familiar with from the series and films.
The last time we had a Jackass movie was 2010’s Jackass 3D—over 10 years ago. But Wolfson said it’s well worth the wait.
“It’s worth the wait, because it’s a great movie,” Wolfson told High Times. “Being part of the new cast is so exciting, and I hope that people will see the camaraderie we all have.”
New York Times said the film was crafted with “sharp cinematography” to create “the most shocking theatrical experience since the mythic mid-1890s screening of the Lumière brothers’ ‘Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station’.” The “kind-hearted” sequel was deemed a worthy, if not better addition to the squad’s repertoire.
Weirdly, the original Jackass franchise was partly inspired by the antics of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Knoxville learned some of Thompson’s (often paranoid) self-defense tactics which grew to further stunts, and his skater and daredevil friends joined along for the ride. The stunts they pulled seemed to inspire other copycats on the internet. Jackass was an instant classic.
“Pain is so much fun because life is pain. Learning to laugh at that pain is what gets us through the tough times and the world needs a laugh now more than ever.”
The more pain there was—the funnier it was.
“Pain is so much fun, because life is pain,” Wolfson explains. “Learning to laugh at that pain is what gets us through the tough times, and the world needs a laugh now more than ever.” Yes, in the film, Wolfson is dared to lick a stun gun, but no spoilers here.
Last May, Knoxville said in a GQ interview that Jackass Forever will be his last foray with the brand, so time will tell if it truly is his last. Knoxville himself recruited Wolfson after discovering her standout talent on Instagram. Wolfson was already known for her cannabis-themed comedy in stand-up, YouTube and so forth.
For instance, High Times appropriately profiled Wolfson in the July 2021 Issue as a “High Headliner,” or one of the top entertainment icons in weed, and interviewed her in detail. “Women can be funny; we can smoke weed, she said. “We don’t just use cannabis as a fetish. There are a lot of medical reasons why cannabis is important to women specifically, and there are things cannabis treats that men will never go through, like menstruation or having a baby. I want to keep proving that women belong in cannabis and in comedy.”
Wolfson agreed to do the movie with some reservations, but was willing to encounter scorpions and a taser, among other antics.
Some injuries were real. Knoxville, for instance, suffered a broken wrist, a broken rib, a concussion and a brain hemorrhage in stunts gone wrong. The new film, however, goes further in exploring sobering topics like mortality and age. Bam Margera departed from the production team in February 2021, but the scenes he filmed were kept in the film.
Jackass Forever is Rated R for raw language, “miles” of male nudity and real pain. Find the film in a theater near you.