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With: Brian Quinn, James Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, Paula Abdul
Written by: Joe Gatto, Chris Henchy, James Murray, Brian Quinn, Sal Vulcano
Directed by: Chris Henchy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for suggestive content, language, some drug references and brief nudity
Running Time: 93
Date: 02/21/2020

Impractical Jokers: The Movie (2020)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Prank Check

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

For their first big screen foray, the four lunkheads avoid extreme, vulgar humor, and they remain an oddly likable bunch, but the movie just isn't very funny for anyone not fond of practical jokes.

In Impractical Jokers: The Movie, we flash back to an incident from the early 1990s, wherein the four Impractical Jokers — "Q" (Brian Quinn), "Murr" (James Murray), "Sal" (Sal Vulcano), and "Joe" (Joe Gatto) — try to sneak into a Paula Abdul concert by donning yellow "security" jackets. The plan works, but they wind up ruining Paula's show; she punches Sal and vows revenge.

Years later, in the present, Paula recognizes the boys from their popular reality show and hands them tickets to a party in Florida, which inspires a road trip. Unfortunately, there are only three tickets, so the boys propose a contest: whichever loses the most practical joke "challenges" during the road trip relinquishes his spot at the party. After many challenges, a loser is chosen, but that's far from the end of the story.

Taking a cue from the much funnier Jackass movie Bad Grandpa, structuring reality-based pranks around a fictional road trip, Impractical Jokers: The Movie moves along at a good little clip. Even though they're silly, juvenile men-children, their genuine friendship, and their individual personalities, tend to come through, and it's difficult not to like them, even if one is not already a fan of their TV series.

The movie also works pretty well when the guest stars play along. Paula Abdul is delightfully funny as a powerful diva, and, hilariously, her song "Forever Your Girl" is used in different formats as a recurring musical theme throughout. (Other surprise guests appear; look fast for Will Ferrell, whose Funny or Die company helped produce the movie.)

However, whenever Impractical Jokers: The Movie stops for a "challenge," — such as delivering the worst eulogy, or trying to get a motorist to stop and help a stalled car — everything sputters. Things only get really interesting when one of our guys is given a challenge that he feels crosses a line. At least some things are sacred.

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