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Impractical Jokers: The Movie


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NEW YORK (CNS) -- To call the humor in the road-trip comedy "Impractical Jokers: The Movie" (WarnerMedia) uneven would be an understatement.

In fact, the quality of the escapades in director and co-writer Chris Henchy's adaptation of the eponymous truTV series varies from flat-footed to somewhat inspired -- though some of the set-ups veer into bad taste.

The effect, overall, is that of a middle-aged, milder version of the unlamented "Jackass" franchise.

The four comedians of the television show -- Brian Quinn, Joe Gatto, James Murray and Sal Vulcano -- who also collaborated on the script with Henchy, start us off, via flashbacks, to 1992, with a thin backstory involving singer-songwriter Paula Abdul, who plays herself.

Flash forward to the present and a chance encounter with Abdul leads the quartet to embark on a jaunt to Miami where the pop star will be performing. Abdul has given the pals tickets to the event, but it turns out that they are short one pass.

So they launch a competition in which they play pranks on unsuspecting members of the public and on one another with the understanding that the loser will have to miss Abdul's show. This becomes the excuse to follow the usual format of the TV series.

Gags based on wildly inappropriate draft eulogies given practice runs in front of random strangers and deliberately sabotaged job interviews work fairly well. So, too, does a sequence in which each of the amigos pretends to have car trouble to see how good Samaritans who pull over to help will react when they start carrying on eccentrically. A stunt set in a strip club, by contrast, is as lame as it is dodgy.

Still, the air of camaraderie that underlies the silly proceedings and the pals' efforts to goad each other into ever greater outrageousness goes a long way to keep this bit of fluff amiable enough for most grown-ups. It's a sometimes dopey, sometimes boring but mostly good-natured affair, though strictly off-limits to kids and teens.

The film contains glimpses of rear male nudity in a nonsexual context, a scene of strippers involving partial female nudity and sensuous behavior, drug references, a couple of uses of profanity, a few milder oaths, at least one rough term and considerable crude and crass talk. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

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CAPSULE REVIEW

"Impractical Jokers: The Movie" (WarnerMedia)

On a road trip from their native Staten Island, New York, to Miami, the four comedians of the eponymous truTV series (Brian Quinn, Joe Gatto, James Murray and Sal Vulcano) compete in playing pranks on unsuspecting members of the public and on one another. The quality of the escapades in director and co-writer Chris Henchy's adaptation, which has a thin backstory involving singer-songwriter Paula Abdul, who plays herself, varies noticeably and some veer into bad taste. But the air of camaraderie that underlies the silly proceedings and the pals' efforts to goad each other into ever greater outrageousness goes a long way to keep this bit of fluff amiable enough for most grown-ups. Glimpses of rear male nudity in a nonsexual context, a scene of strippers involving partial female nudity and sensuous behavior, drug references, a couple of uses of profanity, a few milder oaths, at least one rough term, considerable crude and crass talk. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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CLASSIFICATION

"Impractical Jokers: The Movie" (WarnerMedia) -- Catholic News Service classification, A-III -- adults. Motion Picture Association rating, PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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