A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Impractical Jokers: The Movie is a big-screen version of the popular reality TV show about four friends who challenge each other to perform pranks. The movie is mildly likable, and fans of the show will likely want to see it, but it won't be very funny to anyone who doesn't already enjoy practical jokes. Expect strong language, including a use of "f--k," several uses of "s--t," and many other words. A man's naked bottom is shown, there's a scene in a strip club that includes scantily clad dancers, and there's some sex-related language. Characters punch each other, there's general chaos and panic at a concert, a character is Tased, and there are jokes about killing and death. Characters hold cocktails and glasses of champagne during parties, drink socially, and make references to pot.
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What's the story?
In IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: THE MOVIE, viewers get a flashback to an incident from the early 1990s in which the four titular 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 Abdul's show; she punches Sal and vows revenge. Years later, in the present, Abdul recognizes the men 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 men propose a contest: Whoever 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.
Is it any good?
For their first big-screen foray, the jokers avoid extreme vulgar humor and manage to remain an oddly likable bunch, but the movie just isn't very funny for anyone who's not fond of practical jokes. Taking a cue from the much funnier Jackass movie Bad Grandpa by deciding to structure reality-based pranks around a fictional road trip, Impractical Jokers: The Movie moves along at a good clip. Even though the stars are silly, juvenile men-children, their genuine friendship and their individual personalities tend to come through. It's difficult not to like them, even if you're not already a fan of their TV series.
The movie also works pretty well when the guest stars play along. Abdul is delightfully funny as a powerful diva -- hilariously, her song "Forever Your Girl" is used in different formats as a recurring musical theme throughout. Other surprise guests include Will Ferrell, whose Funny or Die company helped produce the movie. But 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 the men is given a challenge that he feels crosses a line. At least some things are sacred.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Impractical Jokers: The Movie treats sex and sexual situations. What values are imparted in this movie? Are the women in the strip club objectified? In what ways do they represent sex?
Why do people play pranks? When are pranks funny, and when do they go too far? Should playing a joke on someone include humiliating them?
How many of the scenes and pranks involve violence? How is violence used for humor here?
How does this movie compare to the TV series?
- In theaters: February 21, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: June 16, 2020
- Cast: Brian Quinn, James Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto
- Director: Chris Henchy
- Studio: truTV
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: suggestive content, language, some drug references and brief nudity
- Last updated: August 21, 2021
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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