In my last review, I stated that it was a hugely surprising disappointment to expect a great movie and to receive a crappy one. It happens all the time. What happens more rarely though is the expectation of a bad or mediocre flick, only to receive an awesome one in return. That’s exactly what happened here with AJ Wedding’s The Jokesters.
Four friends are the stars of a YouTube-like online prank show sensation called the “PrankMasters.” After a successful run on the internet, one of the crew members is getting married and leaving the show. Even though the group swore they’d keep the pranks away from the wedding, reception, and honeymoon, the three remaining friends — Nick, Chris, and Andrew — decide it’d be a good idea to film the series finale with pranks performed on Ethan and his new bride. After one bad prank leads to another and another, things quickly get out of hand and the crew turns on each other, resulting in an all out massacre.
I didn’t have any idea what to expect when pressing play on The Jokesters. I saw that the runtime was a measly 78 minutes, so I knew even if it was horrible, I wouldn’t have to suffer for very long. Boy, I could not be more off; I had a blast the entire time I was watching this one! If you can imagine a cross between the old-school CKY tapes or Jackass and Adam Wingard’s You’re Next, you can kind of get an idea of what The Jokesters is like.
While a lot of the pranks weren’t that funny, I still thought this film was hilarious. It isn’t meant to be a comedy… at least, I don’t think so… but when you’re dealing with a group of online pranksters, you’re bound to get some laughs out of it. The cast was incredible; Every single performer did an awesome job. Nathan Reid, Gabriel Tigerman, Luis Jose Lopez, and Dante Spencer as the group of best buds was fantastic to watch. Their actions and reactions were so natural and authentic, while exhibiting a nice touch of charisma the entire time, making me really like each and every character.
When the tonal shift of the film finally happens, it is very impressive. I had no idea if the entire movie was going to end up being just one big joke and I am very relieved that it wasn’t. The last act of the film takes a bloody turn and I loved every second of it. The great acting managed to remain intact, showing the versatility of each performer, and the tiny bit of gore we get to see on screen looked beautiful. Using practical effects, director AJ Wedding and his team managed to bring a rather lighthearted and fun film to the dark side very quickly.
I am not sure how I feel about the film’s end just yet, but I will let it digest a little before I make my final decision. It wasn’t how I expected things to go, but it seems fit for the film and makes me wonder if perhaps a sequel is in the works.
I highly recommend The Jokesters to all of you guys. I feel like it is a film that is going to get looked over by many, when it really does deserve a lot of attention. It is available now on DVD from Random Media and Cinedigm, so pick up a copy today!
I give this film 4 dildos to the face out of 5.