Courtesy Paramount Pictures

With the collective pleasure centers of the viewing public at record levels of fried, it’s beginning to look a lot like Jackass’s world, a world we are now all condemned to endure. Copycat activity attached to the boys’ cruel and unusual acts of debauchery against one another’s balls, going back 20 years, is one thing. Many are the amateur farts these films have kindled, Johnny Knoxville-voiced skull and crutch-crossbone disclaimer be damned. But the franchise’s lasting aesthetic mark is as a movie-shaped slot machine of rapid-fire bits. Not necessarily good in the long run for either cognitive processing or empathy towards Steve-O and his penis, that’s now everything’s format—and I’ve changed my mind, it’s for sure bad—but don’t blame Jackass, or do. Critics are fond of situating the films at the endpoint of a silent-era slapstick lineage—Knoxville teed that up for us with the Steamboat Bill Jr. housefront stunt from Jackass Number Two—but less occult or ad hoc is the line of direct transmission from skate videos to the iPhone’s interface, with Jackass in between, which is beyond the scope of this review but not of my forthcoming scholarly monograph The CKYphone. I mean it: olds like me love to summon up remembrance of the pre-YouTube online trade in hideous endorphin bombs excerpted from these movies (Steve-O vomiting wasabi is the classic one). We slide down our bifocals at what passes for blippy shock content on today’s Internet and whinge into our fireplaces. We do it all the time, lately.

You’ll see this movie and decide for yourself if the stunts are just juvenile brain-poison and nothing else. Perceiving more in them than that will depend on your patience for bodily effluvia, whether certain things are animal cruelty, and Knoxville’s P. T. Barnum-like sadism. The cast has grown to include a younger generation, and gotten more diverse in the process. That bull hits Knoxville so hard it shakes the screen. The rest is missing teeth, graying temples, and scars. I’m Max Maller, and this has been The Review. R, 96 min.

Wide release in theaters.