May 3, 2014

Review: Jackass Presents: Murderball (2005)

I've seen pretty much every Jackass movie that has come out so far except for the newest entry which is next on the list. Looking up Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa on IMDb also brought up Jackass Presents: Murderball so I had to see what that was about. I'm a stickler when it comes to completing series so I was just motivated to watch it.

The intentions of this particular Jackass entry are pretty noble. Murderball is a documentary about quadriplegic athletes playing rugby in wheelchairs. The unofficial name for this sport is murderball and it's pretty intense. The wheelchairs they use are heavily modified to take a beating and it isn't a sport for the weak. Murderball also takes a look at the lives of these men in terms of how their handicap affects them and how they get over it. I haven't seen the documentary myself but some of the Jackass crew give it a watch at the beginning of this TV movie and fill us in. Several excerpts from Murderball also make it into JP:M so it's pretty clear that JP:M serves as a promotional tool.


Genre: comedy
Directed by: Lance Bangs
Produced by: Derek Freda , Jeff Tremaine
Written by: Spike Jonze, Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine
Music by: N/A
Running time: 30 minutes
Production company: Music Television
Distributed by: Music Television
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Mark Zupan, Scott Hogsett, Andy Cohn, Steve Schleinitz 



What's nice about Jackass Presents: Murderball is that it invites a couple of the handicapped athletes from Murderball to be part of the antics usually reserved for the regular cast of Jackass. Mark Zupan is the most featured and he actually got parts in future Jackass movies later on. The thing is, these invitations are not about pity but about inclusion. Inclusion to be an idiot on camera with Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville, which is nice.

The format of Jackass Presents: Murderball is a little too all over the place for my liking though. With the stunts, the conversations about being handicapped and the excerpts from Murderball, there's no time to expand on any of these three aspects in 30 minutes. I would say that cutting the excerpts of Murderball completely except for the opener would have been the thing to do in this case. Plus, it gives away too much of Murderball when really it should be trying to tease enough to get people to go watch the documentary themselves.

Jackass Presents: Murderball does a good job at not pitying the athletes it features. The gang include them in their stupidities and don't let their wheelchairs get in the way of having a good time. With only a 30-minute run time, JP:M does feel a little shallow because there isn't enough time to really delve into the minds Mark Zupan, Andy Cohn or Scott Hogsett during their talks with the Jackass crew. Clearly, Murderball is the movie to watch for some real insight into their lives and that's obviously the point. JP:M is just there to promote that documentary.



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