There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to take a good, hard (if you didn’t at least smirk when you read that we can’t be friends) look at yourself and regret every decision you ever made that lead you to doing the stupidest thing you’ve ever done. For me, it’s a three-way (if you also didn’t laugh when you read that, FRIENDSHIP OVER) tie between the time I agreed to review horror shitsplosion Meet Me There, the time I accidentally slept with a male cheerleader in college and the moment I agreed to write up Jackhammer… Which I’m assuming was an allegory on reverse evolution and the effects of crystal meth during pregnancy.
Jackhammer follows, um, hold on, let me check IMDB real quick as I literally didn’t give enough of a shit to remember anyone’s name other than the titular “Jackhammer” and that only because they shoved title cards in your face periodically throughout the film. Okay, I’m back. The movie follows Guy Christie (also billed as an executive producer and writer) as Julius Warner, struggling thespian and acting hopeful, as life takes a Cleveland Steamer on his chest all in one day as he blows a big audition, gets blacklisted by an influential casting agent, breaks up with his sexually deviant girlfriend and moves in with his Jersey-Shore-reject of a stripper half-brother named Jackhammer (played by Michael Hanus who’s billed as writer, director, producer and hands-down had blackmail on Jamie Kennedy with whom he reunites with after Kickin’ It Old Skool). Hijinks ensue. Hilarity does not.
All of this and more sounds like a recipe for an off-the-wall, zany Zoolander-meets-Magic-Mike romp through the kooky underbelly of the secret lives of strippers, right? WRONG. Though production values were surprisingly decent and up to professional standards, the weird 80’s soundtrack, script scraped off the taint of a misogynistic, slightly stereotypical and definitively homophobic scrotum and cinematic tone more confusing than trying to nail down Lindsay Lohan’s sexuality, all but assured an experience almost as traumatizing as the three days back in 2009 when I got wasted and woke up in a relationship.
Okay, let me take my rage-goggles off for a minute and try to quantify into words exactly how Jackhammer belly-flopped into mediocrity. There was potential here. And. It. Was. WASTED. Jamie Kennedy as douchebag extraordinaire, Lance Selmour, sold his overblown asshole to a tee and beyond, not to mention there was a fun cameo with Pamela Anderson and a few outtakes at the end of the film that showcased exactly what we didn’t see during the feature film: genuine humor.
What the audience got instead was a script loaded with pointless derogatory gay slurs disguised as jokes (at last count fifteen), the idea that lesbians (Nicole Sullivan was lost on this) are lesbians because they have penis envy (obviously) and that women make awesome sidekicks (as long you only need them to distract someone with their tits). Anything can be funny and humor is subjective, don’t get me wrong, I love stupid comedies so ridiculously absurd and chock-filled with WTF moments you can’t believe you’re laughing, case in point: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Super Troopers and Zoolander.
But I didn’t laugh once during Jackhammer and my WTF moments were actual “what in the actual fuck were they thinking?!” moments. There was one line in Jackhammer that made me smirk. One. “You don’t know when your pants are coming off, that’s the mystery of life” but the rest of this film was like dodging offensive landmines strapped to an idiotic rocket of stereotypical vulgarity for two hours. Two hours of my life I could’ve been watching Doctor Who, learning the intricate art of prison tattoos or watching a routine colonoscopy. All of which would’ve been more personally rewarding than this rodeo of lame. BRB. Gotta go bang my head against the wall for the rest of time.
Jackhammer was tedious at best and offensive at worst. Twenty minutes in I gave up on life, fifty-eight minutes in when the tone shifted abruptly from “light-hearted” to “somewhat deep emotional revelation time” (the quotation marks denote the “tones” I’m assuming the filmmakers were shooting for if the characters had been anything other than shallow, one-dimensional sock puppets- sorry, that’s insulting to Potter Puppet Pals) I began stabbing myself in the face with a rusty spork to distract (anyone order predictable character arcs? Jackhammer? Party of two?) from the pain and one hour and fifteen minutes in I was curled in the fetal position clutching a bottle of whiskey. I’m still in *therapy (*a bar downtown) trying to *get over this (*single-handedly attempting to break the land speed record for most hard alcohol consumed in one sitting).
Jackhammer is what happens nine months after an okay idea anger bangs terrible execution backstage at an Alanis Morissette concert. This movie shit the bed and, sadly, not literally because even Two Girls One Cup on a loop for two hours would’ve been a better call than this negative space where comedy went to die.