Impractical Jokers is a show that holds a special place in the heart of my wife and I. Our first picture together as a couple was at a live event for them. When the movie was announced, I was excited, but I had little to no expectations for it.
Before jumping into the review, I want to tell a quick story. A story my wife would probably tell differently but I speak the truth. My wife once abandoned me for Sal and Q. We were at an early screening for Furious 7 hosted by them. After the movie, they were available for pictures. I took one step towards them, and then I was smacked in the chest with my wife’s phone, and she was running over to them to take a picture… without me. I will never let her live this down.
Anyway on to the movie. The opening of the movie surprised me with how good it was. It opened up twenty-five years ago and the Jokers are young but still played by themselves. They didn’t go fancy Hollywood and use CGI to make them look younger. They just look like themselves with youthful clothes and more hair for a couple of them. It worked for me and I found it to be very funny.
When they are young, Paula Abdul comes to their hometown of Staten Island, and they come up with a plan to get into the show. They end up causing havoc: Joe tried to be a hype man, Q pulls a fire alarm, and Sal gets clotheslined by Paula Abdul. It’s really an amazing scene. During this scene, their acting is surprisingly solid.
They say that this day was when the idea of Impractical Jokers was born.
We then fast forward twenty five years later and they are filming a challenge. After the challenge is over, the guys head to dinner where — shocker — Paula Abdul shows up. She doesn’t recognize them from the fiasco they caused but recognizes them as the Impractical Jokers. She invites them to a party in Miami, but only gives them three tickets. They take a road trip to Miami, compete in challenges along the way, and the loser doesn’t get to go to the party.
The challenges are the weakest part of the movie. They are not bad but they are nothing different then you see on their TV show. The real star of the movie are all the scenes outside of the challenges. Some are scripted, like the opening, and others are just improv scenes of them joking around. This brought the most laughs to us and also the theater.
The scripted scenes shocked me the most. As I stated earlier, their acting was great. The reason I was shocked is we have seen their live stand-up a few times and it is honestly mediocre at best. The problem I had with it was it felt scripted. They just delivered jump off lines to each other and none of it felt natural. So the fact that it seemed natural on the big screen was a pleasant surprise.
This movie came at a weird time in my opinion. The season is currently going on, so it’s not like we are in a drought and need episodes to watch. The movie was essentially a longer episode, so it even could have worked as an extended season finale. To me, the movie was three parts.
Scripted moments, which were great
Improv moments between four friends, which were also great
And then challenges, which have their moments, but don’t stand out as much as the rest of the movie.
This left me wanting a totally scripted movie with them — without the challenges.
This is by no means a movie we needed, but it had some flashes of brilliance, that showed us what the Impractical Jokers movie we deserve could be. Excellent acting and comedic scenes are held back from the “normal” challenges. If you’re a fan of the show this is an easy recommendation. If you’re new to the show this is a great starting point to get you into the show. I give this one a thumbs up. Fewer challenges and more scenes of just four friends hanging out would easily bump this score up. Let’s hope if we ever get a sequel they lean more into that.
Final Score: — 6.5/10 —