Dir: Tim Kirkby. Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Eleanore Worthington-Cox, Chris Pontius. 2018. R. Color. 85 min.
Johnny Knoxville has grown up since his “Jackass” days, well sort of. His new film, “Action Point” , has plenty of ridiculous comedy moments you’d expect. It also has a heart. It does not depend solely on a series of over-the-top jokes Knoxville typically relies on. Part “Bad News Bears”, part underdog story, part father daughter coming to understand each other. “Action Point” is a pleasant surprise.
The film opens with Knoxville in full grandpa makeup. He is babysitting his granddaughter, who thinks her mom is uptight and no fun. Her grandpa, D.C., tells her the story of Action Point. Cut to 1978. D.C., a divorced father, gets to have his daughter Boogie (Eleanore Worthing-Cox) stay with him for the summer. D.C. runs a local amusement park called Action Point. This is the anti-Disneyland, made for a time when kids didn’t “sue like pussies” if they got hurt.
For the staff, D.C. has hired all the local kids who are considered rejects to run this crazy endeavor. D.C. never really grew up himself, so its the perfect pairing. Enter sleazy, humorless realtor Knoblach (Dan Bakkedahl), or as they call him Knob-Cock. He represents a brand new, more standard amusement park that has just opened. He wants to buy out Action Point, and at a low price since D.C. is buried in bank loan debt. As movie cliches do, D.C. refuses to sell, and a battle of free spirits versus uptight corporate douches ensues.
With declining attendance due to the new park, D.C. is desperate. Suddenly, he has an epiphany! He’s going to push the limits even further with his park. Action Point will be the park where kids can come to do all the stupid things they aren’t supposed to do. Instead of a roller coaster with harnesses, you can ride a bobsled type course in a car with no breaks. For the whirly-wind ride, they tear up the speed limit inhibitor. It’s like a “Jackass” amusement park without the fart and dick jokes.
There are solid laughs involving people hurting each other. A drunk bear is particularly funny. There are also times where they take it too far with crap and butt jokes that will make anybody over the age of 13 roll their eyes. This is certainly a mixed bag. The plus side is “Action Point” is not 100% dependent on it’s jokes. It can go five minutes without having to make you laugh.
The plot is completely by the numbers, but most comedies these days are. The difference is, in “Action Point”, it feels like Knoxville and director Tim Kirkby really seem to care. This will probably be ill-received. “Jackass” fans will want raunchiness throughout. Father/daughter comedy fans will not take it seriously. It’s not meant to be taken seriously or be totally ridiculous. By no means a classic, “Action Point” is the right mix of crazy and kindness for a fun summer comedy.
Suck Factor: 3 out of 7 (7 means your movie really sucks!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!