-By David Noh

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"This is gonna suck" is the mantra you hear throughout Jackass Number Two, as the sometimes near-certifiable participants face their latest challenge, which can range from posing as live bait for hungry sharks and running with infuriated live bulls to being sprayed by a volley of high-speed bullets. After the hooting success of the first Jackass: The Movie, smirky, sexy Johnny Knoxville is back with his cadre of astoundingly durable buds, including Chris Pontius, Dave England, miniature meso-morph Wee Man (Jason Acuña), chubby Preston Lacy, Bam Margera and ultimate go-there guy, Steve-O.

You laugh, you cringe, you wonder what the hell modern civilization is coming to as you see Steve-O apply a leech to his eyeball, and lots and lots of vomiting (some of it generated by the most disgusting prank of all: a fart mask). Much of it has the brain-dead, guffaw-worthy power of Three Stooges routines witnessed when you were eight: Why is it so funny when a mechanized fist suddenly k.o.'s some unsuspecting dupe trying to read tiny writing on a fan mash note? Through all the drinking of horse semen and skull-busting skateboard colliding, the true essence of Jackass is broached when Margera's much-put-upon mom demands to know why he subjected himself to multiple penis images being branded onto his ass. "Because it was funny?" comes the adorably lame reply, a slacker manifesto if e'er there was one.

Producer Spike Jonze gives himself a hilarious cameo, heavily prostheticized into the character of "Gloria," a 90-year-old slut whose sadly saggy breasts are forever popping out of her blouse to the consternation of Los Angeles street people. Jonze's total, pugnacious commitment to the role makes this a lot funnier than Knoxville's "Old Man Balls" skit, which wears a lot thinner. The extended, blatantly offensive terrorist sequence is truly more queasy than funny, but there's a quite disarming musical finale with all the guys charmingly displaying their lack of chorus-boy skills before, yes, being pummeled by those ever-present forces of destruction, ubiquitous in the Jackass universe.

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