It has been approximately five years since a theatrical film teased audiences anything resembling a Jackass feature. Bad Grandpa was released in 2013 and touts moderately positive reviews from critics and general audiences alike. All three original Jackass movies garnered similar critical reactions, with part one of the trilogy being the least liked. Even the straight-to-video cutting room floor release Jackass 3.5 managed to eke out a passable reputation among many prominent movie outlets.
But today, Action Point opens to a significantly colder reception, as the first Jackass-reminiscent feature to receive overwhelmingly negative reviews from movie critics. While it’s not officially calling itself an entry to the Jackass franchise, Action Point does see fit to capitalize upon mentioning the associated crew in both the official movie poster as well as the film’s trailers.
Starring Johnny Knoxville and Chris Pontius, Action Point opened to a stinging 17 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, as of the time of this writing. While reviews may still be coming in, it’s unlikely this number will be changing dramatically. Movie critic titan Peter Travers of Rolling Stone lauds the original MTV series and subsequent films, but seems to angrily take Action Point to task for failing to deliver its once-brazen sense of nihilistic humor.
“Action Point is the first Jackass-related movie to play it safe. Now that is truly painful.”
Action Point is loosely based on a real-life New Jersey amusement park called Action Park. Now closed down for good, one story on Buzzfeed details some of the issues with Action Park, which was infamous for causing serious injury and even fatalities to its guests. In all, six people died during the park’s run from 1978 until it closed once and for all in 1996. Generally, guests fortunate enough to escape Action Park alive and with only serious injuries to complain about, were given free passes to return to the park another day and try their luck again.
While Action Point isn’t a direct bio-pic of the park, it does acknowledge significant inspiration. As to whether another official Jackass movie will ever see the light of day, prospects don’t seem good. Since the release of Jackass 3D, star Ryan Dunn died in a tragic car accident, while co-star Bam Margera has seriously struggled with substance abuse.
Johnny Knoxville continues making features reminiscent of the polarizing series, but it would seem that for the foreseeable future, a new Jackass feature is nowhere on the horizon. Given that most of the original cast are in their 40s or even nearing 50, medically speaking, that’s probably for the best.