Most physical comedy is gone in this CGI-heavy era of movies. There is no Jackie Chan or Buster Keaton anywhere in Hollywood today. A breath of fresh air is what the studio industry needs.
Johnny Knoxville and his “painful just to watch” stunts certainly aren’t new, but to take a seat in today’s crazy times and watch a simple comedy with those stupid stunts was just what I needed. As a whole, Action Point doesn’t work too well. Plenty of jokes don’t land– especially coming from a likable but occasionally off-putting Chris Pontius — and there’s no surprises in the story. But, the movie is innocent and fun enough to get by. Knoxville is as close to a modern-day Buster Keaton as we got.
There’s also an alcoholic bear and a loop-de-loop water slide. It’s hard to be too upset.
Those are just two of the attractions at Action Point, an amusement park that Knoxville’s character created that’s “for the kids,” as he says. What that entails is a no rules, free-for-all funland with hilariously dangerous rides and practically no supervision. The kind of stuff that could only exist in a movie. Except this is based on an actual theme park called Action Park that existed in a much cooler time. I doubt there was a beer-chugging bear at the park, but go to 8:17 in the video below to witness that loop-de-loop water slide.
Knoxville was inspired to make Action Point after watching a documentary about the now-defunct park. The actor-stuntman extraordinaire received a producer and story credit on this movie with the screenplay credited to King of the Hill writers and Silicon Valley co-creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. Brockmire and Veep director Tim Kirkby is at the helm.
That’s a lot of TV cred, and Action Point is as plain and simple as the average filler episode of a comedy series. A run-of-the-mill episode of Silicon Valley or King of the Hill has as much laughs, emotion and narrative complexity as Action Point. While that may keep people away from dropping $10 on a ticket to see this on the big screen, don’t forget how satisfying those filler episodes can be.
If you’re hungry for more Jackass or a simple and care-free comedy, there’s a few laughs and a fun story here. I asked nothing more of this movie walking into it and walked out satisfied. That’s a generous score below, but extra points for a consistently fun time.