Action Point – 2 out of 5
I’m an unapologetic fan of Johnny Knoxville and the entire Jackass crew (well, not Bam Margera, he’s not my cup of tea). It’s easy to write off what these guys did as “stupid humor” because, well, what they did was insanely dangerous and incredibly dumb but there was this strange fearless quality about the whole product that I engaged with and found hysterical—sure, the laughs were usually in-between bouts of sympathy pain but the laughs were there. Since then, I’ve watch Knoxville in all forms of entertainment he’s taken—whether they included bodily harm or not. I was pretty excited to see him doing his usual shenanigans all over again with Action Point and my hopes for it were pretty high. Sadly, it didn’t live up to the exact product I was hoping for.
|Knoxville can still do this at the age of 47. I'm ten years younger than him and|
if I stub my toe I'm done for the day.
|Quality father/daughter time.|
While babysitting his granddaughter, Deshawn Chico “D.C.” Carver (Knoxville) tells her the tale of Action Point. When he was younger, he owned what was considered the most dangerous amusement park in the country. The rides were rickety, the staff was usually intoxicated or untrained and the whole vibe of the place screamed injuries galore. As his estranged daughter Boogie (Eleanore Worthington Cox) comes to visit, a competing park opens and threatens the survival of Action Point. As he attempts to reconcile his relationship with his daughter, D.C. decides to lean into the bad reputation of the park and go for broke with a place that truly has no limits.
|Fire hose streams to the crotch probably should have been a limit, I think.|
Loosely based on the real-life insanity of the park of the same name, the film had some potential and is not without its fair share of moments. It’s still amazing/incredible/horrifying to see Knoxville still decimate his body with nutso crazy stunts and these moments are genuinely amusing. However, the thing that held this movie bad is some of the performances and the overall narrative and plot.
|We've all had that little voice in the back of our minds telling us to crotch-punch|
a theme park mascot.
|"I can't hear you. My corn dog is getting terrible|
While, for the most part, the performances are serviceable and never out-right bad, there’s no denying that some of the performances are not the strongest. Not to call out Jackass alumni Chris Pontius directly but some of his scenes weren’t exactly the best. He has genuinely great and humorous moments but he also has a lot of questionable reactions in many scenes. However, I will say that I really enjoyed Knoxville in the film. While he isn’t giving a commanding performance that will be recorded in the history books, he does show he has the chops to be a decent actor when the call is made.
|He should have stuck to his strengths...like wearing tearaway pants and partying.|
The real killer for this film is how it can’t quite get the balance right for its narrative structure. Essentially, the film is telling a story and throwing in Jackass-style stunts. It’s the same formula that was used in Bad Grandpa. However, too often the story moments just feel like they were loosely chained to the stunts and never does anything truly feel connected. It ends up making the story parts boring and distracting and ultimately gives the whole product a feeling like the whole thing was just thrown together at the last minute after some stunts were filmed.
|My back needed aspirin just looking at this scene.|
Action Point has moments of enjoyment but it’s wrapped up in a messy package that feels slapped together. Too often the fun parts are sandwiched between boring sequences that often feel like they exist only out of obligation and it made for a viewing experience that often felt like homework. I really wanted to like this one more but ultimately was fairly unimpressed with it.