Plot: D.C. (Johnny Knoxville) tries to entertain his granddaughter with tales of the past, so he revisits memories of Action Point, a low rent amusement park that was his passion project. The park was cheaply made and filled with dangerous rides, so even basic, mundane experiences at Action Point could lead to brushes with injury or death, which made kids even more excited to have fun there. D.C. was under constant pressure to sell, but he refused even as the park slowly ran out of cash, insistent on keeping the doors open as long as possible. When his daughter comes to visit, he learns that his ex is about to seek full custody, so he decides to go for broke and make this summer as wild and fun as he can. But as the park falls apart and the bank closes in, can D.C. hold the park together long enough for one last run?
Entertainment Value: As a fan of the Jackass series, I was drawn to Action Point, as Johnny Knoxville doing wild stunts again seemed to hold some promise, even if it did seem to be within a more traditional comedic picture. Knoxville does indeed perform some stunts here, though they’re sparse and despite stories of numerous injuries, just don’t stand out as memorable. The movie’s promotional materials really push the stunts and how Knoxville performed most of them himself, but what we see on screen isn’t humorous or outlandish, what stunts are showcased are rather dull and by Jackass standards, quite tame. The rest of the movie follows suit, with minimal humor and an odd mix of profane and feel good elements, as if Action Point wants to be an old school coming of age movie, but with some edge. But there’s no edge here, as the writing fails to go for broke when it should and really blanks when it comes to emotional beats, so we end up with an uneven mess of a movie. I could have overlooked all that if the movie was fun to watch or the stunts were impressive, but Action Point stalls on all fronts and is impossible to recommend.
All of the marketing for Action Point revolved around Johnny Knoxville, which makes sense, as Jackass fans would likely turn out to support another stunt filled ramp from the comic madman. He is the lead and on screen for most of the movie, but this is much more about Knoxville’s verbal humor and his physical madness, as the stunts are brief and infrequent. As I said above, I read that he sustained numerous injuries, but this is a case where the danger or consequences don’t translate to the screen. Despite his injuries, the stunts don’t seem wild or over the top, quite the opposite in fact and that is a shame, for both Knoxville’s health and the entertainment value of the movie. If you like his sense of humor, you might get a few chuckles, but this is some of the weakest writing he had to work with. The material fails to use his charm and bold comedic style, so he comes off like a mediocre comic here and his performance has little of the Knoxville chaos he is known for. The cast also includes Chris Pontius, Dan Bakkedahl, and Eleanor Worthington-Cox.