The problem with big screen adaptations of big television shows is that the commercials can sometimes save a tanking episode. Commercials can break the monotony and sometimes give the audience a chance to regroup. While “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” can benefit from an ad break or two, struggling to keep the energy well in to the hour mark, it’s a very good extension of the hit TV show.
Even if it’s niche cinematic affair for the fans like me that watch the series religiously.
Based on the hit comedy series, we meet four high school friends from Staten Island, Murr, Joe, Q, and Sal as they venture to see Paula Abdul in concert in 1992. After they’re kicked out of her concert after sneaking in, years later in 2018, they bump in to her at a restaurant and she offers them tickets to see her new concert. Sadly, she only gives them three tickets. On the way to her concert, the pals challenge each other to a series of gradually embarrassing pranks and dares. The loser with the most thumbs down scores stays behind, while the other three with the most thumbs up scores gets to see Paula Abdul like they wanted to as high school buds.
As I mentioned, “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” is mainly a niche movie you probably should have some knowledge of the show to enjoy. They don’t really learn from the “Jackass” formula, allowing for anyone to jump in, have some laughs, and be on their way. The movie makes my point in one scene involving the guys’ stop at a motel. As a brief departure from the challenges and dares, the group decides to make time to mess with member Sal by putting a giant tiger in his hotel room. The joke is that Sal is known for being absolutely terrified of any kind of cats, whether it’s kittens or man eating wild animals. The scene is funny, but passes by without fallout. Sal never really inflicts revenge on anyone, which is especially disappointing since Sal is known as being pretty vindictive on the series.
“Impractical Jokers” is a mixed bag, as it spends too much time on the filmed segments. That is equally confusing as the jokers directly break the fourth wall to confirm we understand the basics of the film’s premise, but then they complete the whole narrative even with a full climax. Realistically there’s probably a half hour of filmed narrative that bridges the stunts and gags, but often times it destroys the momentum, especially when the group draws genuine laughs from the challenges. While the challenges are numerous (and long), I would have loved to see at least few more their iconic stunts. I would have loved to see the secretary gag with weird names or the endurance test where they have to make one another laugh in a waiting room.
That said, when “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” is at its best, it can inspire a real laugh or two. The foursome manages to grab a spotlight with some hilarious moments. Most of the best scenes involve the stunts, including a hilarious scene in a cave, and a hysterical series of bad job interviews with the Seahawks. To their credit, the guys allow for most of the narrative to be pretty funny. Murr is given the best running gag involving the variety of weird parties in his motel rooms. “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” probably won’t win new fans, but it might entertain the loyal fans that have been following the series since the beginning. And I think that’s good enough for Sal, Joe, Murr, and Q.
Now Available Early on All Major Digital Formats After a Successful Theatrical Run.