Impractical Jokers: The Movie (2020)
Directed by Chris Henchy
If you want to laugh for 90 minutes, I would suggest watching three episodes of “Impractical Jokers” on TruTV. In fact, just one episode of the long-running prank show provides more laughs than the feature-length “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” that just hit theaters. I’m sorry, guys, but you all get thumbs down this round.
The movie starts with a laughless ten-minute flashback showing how Joseph Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn, and Salvatore Vulcano became Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal—the Impractical Jokers (with the 43-year-old men playing themselves as high school students). As the legend goes, the guys snuck into a Paula Abdul concert in the early 1990s and spent a few glorious minutes backstage before totally blowing it. Now, 25 years later, they have three tickets to a Paula Abdul show in Miami. To see which three of them get the tickets (and the chance to redeem themselves), they’ll take a road trip full of their silly brand of pranks and challenges.
A couple of times, “The Movie” is as funny as the show has ever been. Funnier, maybe, because you’re sharing the experience with a theater full of people (though, in my case, “full” would be a very generous way to describe it). But trust me when I say it’s only a couple of times. Whenever the guys aren’t following the premise of their show—whenever they’re trying to progress the plot by actually acting—the movie becomes very unfunny. The guys, I’m sorry to report, do not have a future in traditional comedic acting. The line between silly and unfunny is already a very thin one, and the guys have trouble staying on the right side of the line. Even when they are doing challenges, often they simply aren’t as funny as we’re used to seeing them. Fortunately for us, TruTV airs the television show’s reruns almost exclusively (seriously, does anyone know what other shows they air?), so we don’t have to rely on this theatrical farce to get our funny fix.