I was in college when the Jackass guys started to become mainstream. In fact, it inspired one of my college friends to buy a camera and attempt his own stunts, and I may have been roped into a few. Almost 18 years have passed since I first heard of Johnny Knoxville, so surely he’s not still putting his body in harm’s way. Well, his newest film, Action Point (2018), sees the aging actor risking his body for the sake of physical comedy. His sacrifice doesn’t equal entertainment, and the film is just an excuse to sit in an air-conditioned room for an hour and a half.
Action Point can’t muster laughs despite Knoxville’s willingness to kill himself
D.C. (Johnny Knoxville) owns a rundown amusement park and is losing business to new competition, but rather than fixing it up, he loosens the rules, allowing for his guests to have a truly thrilling experience. He isn’t only trying to save his park though, as his daughter Boogie (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) is in town for the summer. D.C. has to deal with his dwindling profits, his teenage daughter, and his realtor rival, Knoblach (Dan Bakkedahl).
Basically, everything about this film is generic. The villain is a staple bad guy for the sake of being a bad guy. There is an attempt to develop a backstory between the two, but there really isn’t anything there. The same goes for the theme park, the stunts, and the father-daughter relationship. Knoxville and director Tim Kirkby don’t do much with the premise at all. Of course, the entire film is framed as a flashback as D.C. – Knoxville in old man makeup – tells this story to his granddaughter after seeing a commercial to a modern day theme park.
Fortunately, Action Point isn’t a long movie, and actually feels extremely rushed. The scenes crash together one after another like the editor was trying to do his own stunts. In the scenes, the characters move erratically, trying to shove humor into the audience’s face every instant, and successfully failing to do so. Not to say there isn’t some charm to Knoxville, but it’s ultimately lost amongst the mundane elements of the film.
Action Point is definitely a film worth skipping. If you are hungering for stunts with a comedic twist, it may be worth revisiting the original Jackass film. Then again, you can probably find tons of clips on YouTube that will probably fill the void. Action Point earns the Avoid like the Plague rating, said with much indifference.