Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Eleanor Worthington Cox, Dan Bakkedahl
Director: Tim Kirkby
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Everyone’s favorite daredevil Johnny Knoxville is back to his hilariously painful antics in the upcoming comedy ACTION POINT. Knoxville stars as D.C., the crackpot owner of a low-rent, out-of-control amusement park where the rides are designed with minimum safety for maximum fun. Just as D.C.’s estranged teenage daughter Boogie comes to visit, a corporate mega-park opens nearby and jeopardizes the future of Action Point. To save his beloved theme park and his relationship with his daughter, D.C. and his loony crew of misfits risk everything to pull out all the stops – and stunts – making for another wild ride from the star of BAD GRANDPA and JACKASS.
If you are a fan of the Jackass franchise, you will probably enjoy the gross-out humor dressed in a narrative structure in Action Point. Personally, I am not a fan of this type of lowbrow humor, so for me this film ended up being an absolute waste of my time. Filled with almost no artistic merit, Action Point is everything and less we can expect from a Jackass movie at this point as the formula works for their fanbase with no attempt to reach outside of that.
The film follows an elderly D.C. Carter (Knoxville), as he tells the story of the time he owned a theme park called Action Point to his granddaughter. During this story, D.C. describes the summer that his daughter Boogie (Cox) visited him in California and worked with him and his team to do whatever it takes to save Action Point from being bought out by local businessman Knoblach (Bakkedahl). This starts off one of the first issues that I recognized about the film. Since this story is being told to us far after it actually happened, we know what the end result is going to be. “I used to own a theme park,” so then you failed to save it since it no longer exists? You cannot frame the narrative of, “I had to do whatever it takes to save what I love,” when we already know you were unsuccessful. It honestly probably would have been funnier if they framed it under the idea of how bad they failed and how stupid their ideas to save it were. Outside of that, most of the jokes and physical humor just did not land for me. For most of the 85 minute runtime, it is oversexualized jokes and a testament to how much physical pain one movie can give out to Knoxville. I understand that there are certain people out there that love this type of humor, and if it had the charm of something like The Three Stooges I would love it too, but Action Point sticks exclusively to what has worked for their entire franchise. One of the scenes that really bothered me though was the first scene between Boogie and her uncle Benny (Pontius). When D.C. and Benny see that Boogie has grown up since the last time they saw her, Benny starts acting in the creepiest way possible. This is a new low for the Jackass franchise, I did not think they could find a way to glamorize incestuous pedophilia, but here I am writing about it, so they clearly found a way. There is a reason why movies like Spotlight are not comedies, and that is because the subject matter is serious. When you take a movie that while severely flawed, is still relatively lighthearted, and you add a really dark and unsettling moment in there, it completely shifts the tone for no reason other than to make an attempt at an unfunny joke. Stick to what you do best, people come to these movies to watch others get physically injured and insulted, so just pile onto that and please your fanbase.
Overall, the only thing I can attribute as a positive about this movie is that at least there is an attempt to make a narrative. Instead of a whole runtime of, “Hi I’m Johnny Knoxville and watch me do this thing to my friend,” and I will give them a little bit of credit for at least attempting to tell a story. Even with this new concept in mind, Action Point still manages to fail spectacularly at almost every turn and add nothing new to anyone’s life.
Overall Score: 2.5/10