Action Point Review | Break A Leg

Summer comedies are great. Whether it be The Sandlot or Holes, there's nothing quite like the feeling of revisiting a film that defined your childhood summers. And although the children of yesteryear, aka adults, are adamant that their childhood classics are the best and nothing can surpass them, there is still a new generation of kids and teenagers who are looking for their childhood defining raunchy and over the top summer comedy that they can grow old with. Unfortunately, Action Point is not that movie.

Action Point stars Johnny Knoxville (of Jackass fame) along with a plethora of other people (like Chris Pontius, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Aidan Whytock, and more) and is directed by Tim Kirby. The plot is a by-the-books flashback of a small business trying to stick it to the big corporate overlords. D.C. and his team are trying to revamp their dying amusement park of pain to make it more dangerous and wild to attract the big crowds and pay the bills. All this while, an evil businessman is breathing down their necks to shut the place down and make it his own. Simply put, this movie is a series of loosely connected events that are held together by people getting hurt. The question is if, unlike the actors in the movie, Action Point can actually stick the landing.

There's a lot that I do not understand (or care to understand) regarding this movie. First of all, there was no need for the whole story to be a flashback because the scenes where Grandpa Knox is interacting with his granddaughter are pointless and add little to nothing for the story. For example, there is a scene, that takes place in the present, where you see Grandpa Knox's toenails which are, and I'll be frank with you, disgusting. However, this adds no character development, nor humor, nor does it push the story forward. It's an out of place sequence that belongs on the DVD bonus features list at best. Actually, most of the jokes in the movie feel that way. They're all scenes where someone is either getting punched in the balls or doing something extremely strange like howling in the dark while hunting for fish with a hatchet. Almost as if everything the script said would be funny is just random things someone did when tripping on LSD. With the history of the cast members, I would have much rather preferred an improv set of sequences loosely following a set structure.

Furthermore, the storyline of the flashback itself isn't anything interesting either and ends up being easily predictable. In fact, if you are locked to watch this movie for some reason then I encourage you to watch the trailer, take a piece of paper and write down what you think will happen. Assuming you've watched movies before, I hope that's not a stretch, you probably hit most plot points on the dot. To the movie's credit, because I feel like I've been going at it too hard already, there is one scene where the car gets turned around after an almost stunt scene which I thought was pretty cool. That's about it.

Next, there's the acting. Believe it or not, this film relies a lot on the actors because there are several attempts to draw an emotional connection between young D.C. and his daughter, and old D.C. and his granddaughter. But I regret to inform you that even on this front the movie falls flat. None of the actors are bad per se and they are doing their best to bring their characters to life. The problem lies with how little there is to work within the script which leaves a lot to be desired from the characters. The last few scenes in the movie attempt to change the perspective on the father-daughter relationship and it would have been a lot more effective if you cared about those characters up to that point in the first place. By the time that the one and only emotionally significant scene happens in the movie, at the very end if you care to know, I was more focused on what to have for dinner then the lasting relationship between this father and his daughter.

However, at the end of the day, this is a more or less a Jackass film, which means that people aren't watching it for the acting or drama. They're watching it for the stunts! And I am pleased to say that Action Point certainly has stunts...about 10 of them. Of those 10 about 5 of them range from good to great. The others are nothing more than people falling over or getting punched in the balls (as I have already said). With that said though, credit where credit is due, at nearly 50 years of age (47 to be exact) it is very impressive that Johnny Knoxville is still committed to doing his own stunts. Seeing him take hit after hit, especially in three particular scenes in the latter half, is very inspiring to young up-and-coming daredevils. But as hard as those hits are the film still feels like it's on low-gear and stuck there. The stunts never really take the front seat and some of them are so quick that by the time you process what's going on the person is already on the ground writhing in pain.

In the end, Action Point tries to take the stunts from Jackass and put it behind a summer comedy backdrop. Unfortunately, the film, much like the actors in it, gets its legs swept out from underneath it due to lousy pacing and sparse stunts and ends up falling on its face as an hour and twenty-minute drag that feels a lot longer than it should. If you want a quick countdown of my thoughts on this movie: I chuckled 3 times, winced at seeing pain 4 times, impressed by the shots 1 time, and checked if my phone had any new messages or notifications multiple times.

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