Review: Action Point
Remember Jackass? Or, closer to the point, does anyone remember Johnny Knoxville?
Because we do, and for the past eight years he has attempted to repeat the gross out violence of his acclaimed and reviled prank-show series, Jackass. It sort of worked with Bad Grandpa, which proved he could still make the occasional bottom rung of humour work, but it was forgettable and a diamond in the rough.
Unlike Action Point.
Presumably sensing that the Jackass well of comedy has dried up, Knoxville is back with his latest iteration, Action Point. It seems in between churning out sequels to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie and cameo roles in Netflix action movies, Knoxville found the time to beat the dead corpse of the Jackass series.
It’s a bit early to call it as we’re catching up on some releases from the previous years, but Action Point may be the worst movie of the decade.
Knoxville stars as DC, the owner of Action Point park, a place so dangerous it makes the stunts on Jackass feel restrained. But, for whatever reason, herds of teens head to the park for slapstick comedy to presumably ensue. Unfortunately, nobody told director Tim Kirkby that slapstick humour died right around the time Bottom was cancelled.
The entire film just feels shoddy.
Major aspects of the movie are brushed over, specifically the plot. It’s as non-existent as you’d expect it to be: the park is to be closed due to danger issues, and it’s up to DC and his gang of misfit-but-loyal employees to prevent this from happening. All well and good, but there’s not a single piece of character development. These characters are exactly the same by the end of the movie as they were at the beginning. Aside from one or two expected cliches of the father/daughter relationship, no character makes a meritable change.
Even small details, such as the prosthetic work, look damaged beyond repair. Knoxville dons old man makeup for the brief scenes that aren’t flashbacks, but to be honest he really doesn’t need the makeup at this point.
Seeing him spiralling out of trees, sliding around on dangerous platforms and fighting a bear feels more like the film is abusing a pensioner than actually providing any content worthy of humour.
It’s quite sad if anything, especially being a huge Knoxville fan, to see him knocking on the doors of his mid-50s and still trying to turn a buck on comedy that was arguably unfunny a decade ago. He’s a surprisingly solid actor, and for what it’s worth, his turns in both Men in Black II and Elvis & Nixon were impressive pieces of work. The rest of the cast do no better though, especially fellow Jackass member Chris Pontious, who performs in such a deflated manner you can almost feel the resentment oozing off of the screen.
By all means, we do like the Jackass movies. For its time it was hilarious, and they had oddly good soundtracks (if you don’t believe us check out this clip from Jackass 3.5) that still resonate with audiences today. But if Action Point is meant to be some sort of fictitious revival of a show that barely worked in reality, then it has failed in its one goal.
Shoddy writing, acting and direction aside, we struggle to recommend this as even an irony viewing. There’s no aspect that makes this so bad it’s good. It’s just bad. Action Point will never be remembered, and that’s probably for the best when the best joke it can cough up is Johnny Knoxville falling out of a tree.
Give it a year, nobody will ever remember Action Point.