And Now For Something Amazing! — A Review of ‘Impractical Jokers: The Movie’
Who knew that when four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other launched a TV show in December of 2011, it would go on to become a cultural phenomenon? With the success of the truTV series, sold-out comedy cruises and nationwide arena tours, it’s only fitting that the Impractical Jokers — James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn, Joe Gatto, and Sal Vulvano, also known as the comedy troupe The Tenderloins) — have finally made the jump to the silver screen. Directed by Chris Henchy (co-founder of Funny or Die), “Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” kicks off with a backstory that features our heroes in vintage hairdos and gives a look into the friendship that formed over the years. Fast forward to a Red Lobster booth in present times, where the main plot of the film takes off with a chance encounter with pop icon, Paula Abdul. Before you can say “Welllll,” the inseparable foursome hit the road on a haphazard road from Staten Island to Miami. Along the way, the guys concoct hilarious hidden camera challenges which mimick their wildly- successful series’ format, in order to determine the fate of an ultimate loser.
As a fan of the series, I spent the months leading up to the release wondering how their creative team would bring the series to the screen. The film is best described as an episode of the series turned up to 11! It’s all the elements you love about the show. From the crazy plots, to the wild interactions with the public, the hilarious costumes, the whacky (and sometimes disturbing faces) made by the Jokers, you’ll enjoy the comforting familiarity of the show, but with a much higher production value. They really swing for the fences here! Watching the more narrative moments of the film, I immediately got vibes of Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob films” merged with the wild adventure of the “Jackass” movies, and hit with a dash of Broken Lizard for good measure. With that said, it doesn’t feel derivative of those other films in any way. It’s pure Impractical Jokers, through and through! Fans of the series are treated to callbacks to some of the TV series greatest moments, as well as special appearances by long-time Jokers’ crowdpleasers like Pop Vulcano, Casey Jost (accompanied by his amazing hair) and the legendary Joey Fatone, just to name a few. Aside from the obvious Joker celeb cameos, also sure to keep an eye out for appearances by Will Ferrell, Jaden Smith, Kane Hodder, and a touching Easter egg tribute to Joe’s mom.
While “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” is custom-made for fans of the hit series, it can definitely serve as a gateway drug for new fans. If you’re encountering this band of merry men for first time, you owe it to yourself to explore the series, now in it’s 8th triumphant season. Most importantly, both the film and the series serve as a wonderful distraction for these strange and turbulent times.
“Impractical Jokers: The Movie” is available in your homes to watch digitally on April 1st”.