The Impractical Jokers are nothing short of a sensation. They have a hit television series, a museum exhibit, a comedy cruise, a popular tour, a game show, and now a movie hitting theaters. Overall, this movie is a pretty mixed bag. A large part of this movie really does work, but there are also elements that don’t. However, I will say this was one of the best movie theater experiences I have ever had. Most of the theater was filled with fans, and the whole audience was roaring with laughter throughout. In fact, I would say this is the most audience laughter I have ever experienced out of any movie. This film is made for fans, so if you are a fan, I would say it’s a must-see. It’s really more of an event than a movie. It’s actually in a way very similar to Avengers: Endgame due to the fact that it’s an experience.
Also, just like Avengers: Endgame reviewing this movie will be difficult simply because it’s built on surprises and reveals. There is so much to be discovered in this movie that it’s worth going just to see how everything plays out. No need to worry as there will be absolutely no spoilers given away, this review will touch more on the general aspects of the film. I didn’t know much going into this film, and I was pleasantly surprised throughout. There are also a number of great cameos that I did not see coming and are certainly worth checking out.
The movie hits the ground running right away as the opening scene was one of the highlights of the movie. The opening had the whole theater laughing hysterically and did a great job setting the tone for the movie. In fact, the opening sequence is so good I would say it’s worth seeing the movie just for that. The basic setup and overall plot for the movie are also pretty solid, it gives a good enough reason for the jokers to go on their adventure. However, if you have never seen the show before, you should watch at least one or two episodes to get familiar with the format. This movie expects the audience to know how the game works, so if you don’t prepare to be a little confused.
This movie is a mix of scripted and unscripted scenes. The Jokers, of course, work best without a script and the improvised moments carry the movie. However, with the scripted scenes, it’s a very mixed bag. The jokers have proven they poeses tons of skills, but unfortunately, acting isn’t really one of them. With the scripted bits Sal, Q, Murr, and Joe do the best they can, but they are clearly out of their element when it comes to acting. To be fair, some of the scripted bits are good, but a number of them are really cringy and hard to watch. Famous singer Paula Abdul is also in the movie, and she does a fine job. Her scenes work pretty well because she is surprisingly game when it comes to this movie.
This move is filled with instantly iconic moments. It is really a mix of punishments and challenges throughout the movie which adds a nice sense of variety. Without spoilers, the best sequence by far is the Jaden Smith event with Sal. That whole bit is amazing and there is a reveal that will perhaps forever change the history of Impractical Jokers. Other great sequences include the job interview, the broken down car bit, Sal’s hotel room nightmare, Q’s presentation, Murr’s birthday, and Joe’s cave encounter. Also, the punishment at the end is one of the best and most insane punishments ever to be featured. I do wish they played it up more in the movie, as it was just kind of thrown in at the end. However, some of the challenges are more standard and feel a tad underwhelming. But overall, there are a ton of great sequences throughout.
Now there is a question as to whether it’s worth seeing on the big screen. Some feel it belongs on services such as HBO Max or Netflix. In my opinion, the film is very cinematic. However, I would argue the movie is almost too clean and clear. The crystal clear image almost doesn’t fit with the Joker’s style. Especially with the hidden camera bits, they don’t feel like hidden camera bits because of how clear and perfect the image is. But for any future movies the Joker’s do, I would say they would be better suited for a streaming service. I would love an Impractical Jokers movie franchise, but I think the movies would do better on a streaming service, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They would certainly add value to any streaming service, they would be able to consistently get a big budget, they wouldn’t have to stress over delivering at the box office, and I feel more people would watch.
As far as the directing and writing goes, it’s from Chris Henchy who has a very rocky comedy resume, which explains why the scripted parts are rather weak. Also, this movie isn’t afraid to think big. It has a much bigger scale than the TV show which does allow for some pretty crazy punishments and challenges. It was also cool to see the Jokers take over some new locations such as Washington D.C, Atlanta, Florida, and more. Furthermore, they get to interact with new types of people which leads to some pretty funny encounters, especially during the broken down car challenge.
This movie could end up doing well as there has been a lack of adult comedies lately. There are movies like Birds of Prey and Bad Boys, but those are more action comedies. If you’re in the mood for a straight-up, more raunchy and vulgar adult comedy, this movie will certainly scratch that itch. However, there were a number of children in my theater and they did have a great time. Just be cautious when taking children because even though its rated PG-13, it does contain a lot of adult humor. But that being said, I would say this movie never crosses the line. During some parts it goes right up to the line, but it never gets out of hand.
In the end, this movie is like any good road trip. Some of it is fun and memorable, some of it is just ok, and some of it is hard to get through. However, if you are a true fan of the Impractical Jokers, it is a must-see. Even if you are just a casual fan, there are enough big surprises, reveals, and cameos that make it worth seeing. And if you are just someone looking for a decent adult comedy, by all means, go check it out. But since it’s only playing in a limited number of theaters for now, unless you’re a die-hard fan, I wouldn’t go out of your way to see this movie. This was one of the best theater experiences I have ever had and it was cool to see the Jokers on the big screen. Again, its more of an event than just a movie. And I do hope we get a sequel, even if it is on a streaming service. The leads, Sal, Joe, Q, and Murr, are so likable it’s hard not to root for this movie, even if it isn’t perfect. Overall, if you’re a fan of the show, it’s an event not to be missed.