Plot: What’s it about?
It’s been several years since my wife and I first discovered Impractical Jokers. And if you’ve never seen it, then treat yourself and watch an episode. Any of them. For the uninitiated, here’s the premise: four life-long friends compete in stunts to embarrass one another. There’s more to it than that, of course, but each television episode will have a few challenges. Based on the success or failure of the participants (each member must take part), they’ll either pass or fail. The one (or ones) who end up failing the most will have to participate in a final challenge and they must complete it. These range from critiquing children’s artwork in class to getting tattoos to having their cars blown up. Yep, some of these will stay with them for life. The television show has been on for several seasons and, evidently, it was time for the quartet to move to the big screen.
We start back in the early 90’s as we meet the gang: Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, Joe Gatto and Sal Vulcano. These are the key players in the movie and show. They’d managed to infiltrate a Paula Abdul concert dressed as security officers. Things do not go well. Flash forward a quarter of a century and they run into Abdul (who plays herself) in a Red Lobster. Because…where else would Paula Abdul eat? Abdul recognizes the gang as the Impractical Jokers and gives them a trio of tickets to her concert in Miami. Yes, they’re one short. The gang uses this as an excuse to take a road trip from New York (Staten Island, to be exact) and along the way take part in some challenges. The ultimate “loser” won’t get to see Abdul perform.
The movie was entertaining, I’ll give them that. But the point when making the leap from the small screen to the big one is that you do things you likewise couldn’t do on television. The stunts have to be bigger, the stakes higher and so forth. That’s absent. The scripted part (namely the prologue) and some parts in between drag. It’s only when the group hit their stride with some of the challenges. A car is pulled over at the side of the road and they need help, Sal confronts his ultimate fear of cats in a hotel room and so on. When Jackass went to the big screen, the stunts were over the top. They did things they couldn’t do on MTV. And if you’re looking for a good road trip movie, why not check out Bad Grandpa, also starring Johnny Knoxville. Ultimately, this kind of fell flat. The magic is still there and I’ll continue to watch on the small screen, but this was an opportunity missed.
If you look closely at a certain scene (I won’t say which one) you’ll see a blink-and-you-miss-him cameo by Will Ferrell. Also check out our reviews of Impractical Jokers: Season One, Season Two, Season Three and Season Four.
Video: How’s it look?
This is a new movie and it looks as such. The 1.85:1 HD transfer, for the most part, looks the part. The thing with this show (and now movie) is that there are sometimes hidden cameras that capture most of the “action” and it’s a bit inconsistent when compared to that of a traditional film. Most of the scripted scenes shot with an HD camera are what we’d expect: sharp detail, bright, bold colors and the like. There are some segments that are shown in 4:3 format and they show it. Fans of the show, and you know who you are, will know what to expect. This is basically the big screen version of what we’ve seen on television for years.
Audio: How’s it sound?
This was viewed via the Movies Anywhere app and after a bit of research, it appears that anything that bears the 5.1 logo is a Dolby Digital Plus mix. I’d thought those had gone away when HD-DVD went the way of the dodo, but evidently not. At any rate, this isn’t the kind of movie (or television show) you watch for the audio. Most of the vocals are clear and crisp with surrounds only chiming in during a few key scenes. It’s a front-heavy, dialogue-driven mix that features a few physical gags but again – if you’ve seen the show on television then you’ll know what to expect.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This contains no supplements.
The Bottom Line
I wasn’t a big fan of the movie. There were times when I laughed, hard (most notably the Social Media presentation by Q), but I stand by what I said above – the reason you do a movie is to “get away” with things you likewise couldn’t on television. This just felt like a really long episode interjected with some scripted storyline that slowed the pace. I’m still a fan, of course, but unlike Jackass which really did push the envelope with its theatrical releases, this is just more of the same.