Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Internet Insider, where we tell you what you should be watching. This week, we discuss the new Jackass film.
Jackass is cinema now
The new film—the first since 2010—is a warm blanket of nostalgia in these trying times, as indicated by its opening-weekend box office numbers. Since it was filmed during the pandemic, there aren’t as many public pranks in Jackass Forever. “So that meant we were in a bubble, just torturing each other,” director Jeff Tremaine told the New York Times. Torture is especially inflicted on Ehren McGhehey, who endures stunts that make milk crate challenge injuries look like a walk in the park.
You can certainly see that the main cast has aged. Johnny Knoxville, 50, allegedly lost some cognitive function after being tossed by a bull (again). It makes sense that new cast members are introduced: It’s time to pass the torch to the next generation, and that includes a man named Poopies. Comedian Rachel Wolfson is the first woman to be featured in the franchise, and her presence certainly changes the stunt dynamics.
“You can trace Jackass’ transition from disreputable low culture object to revered comic institution clearly through one metric alone,” said one tweet about the franchise’s critical ascension on Rotten Tomatoes. All the Jackass movies are streaming on Paramount+, and after revisiting them this weekend, there are certainly a couple bits that didn’t age well. But the logistics and planning that go into the stunts—and the pain these men have publicly inflicted on each other’s dicks over 20 years—is really remarkable. Jackass takes a much more primal and intimate approach: body horror as friendship. That can’t be replicated on TikTok.
—Audra Schroeder, senior writer
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The Worst Person in the World is an ode to not having life figured out
For Julie (Renate Reinsve), the protagonist of The Worst Person in the World, the expectation of having everything figured out follows her almost constantly. But the film never judges Julie. She screws up, she changes her mind (and sometimes the circumstances change it for her). She’s not immune to sabotaging her life or hurting others, and even when she’s with a partner, she’s still enveloped in loneliness. It’s often a gift of a movie, and it’s embodied with an empathetic touch helmed by a fantastic performance from Reinsve.
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