Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal are taking their talents to the big screen in Impractical Jokers: The Movie. How does the film compare to the show?
Impractical Jokers is a series with a winning formula, but how does the show compare to Impractical Jokers: The Movie? TruTv’s Impractical Jokers stars four Staten Islanders named Sal Vulcano, Brian “Q” Quinn, James “Murr” Murray, and Joe Gatto, who challenge each other with pranks in a Jackass-meets-reality-competition-show format. Originally formed as an improvisation comedy troupe, their chemistry as friends formed the basis of Impractical Jokers, which first premiered in 2011 and will release its ninth season in 2020.
During a typical Impractical Jokers episode, each Joker takes his turn accepting a challenge. Fitted with an earpiece, shot with hidden cameras, and interacting with the public at large, that Joker must do whatever the others say. For example, one episode featured Murr disguised as a waiter in an upscale New York restaurant. One of the 200 patrons is wearing a wig, and Murr has to tug on unsuspecting diners’ hair in order to find the wearer while the other three Jokers laugh along. In this case, Murr successfully finds the wig and receives a “thumbs-up,” but if he had failed, he would’ve received a “thumbs-down” and accepted a “punishment.”
Now, the jokers are taking their talents to the big screen with Impractical Jokers: The Movie, which released on February 21, 2020. Directed by Chris Henchy, Impractical Jokers: The Movie sends the four jokers on a road trip to compete in various challenges in order to make up for a high school mishap in 1992. The goal is to attend a Paula Abdul show in Miami and only three of the four friends will get tickets to attend. Though the film is very similar to the show, there is one major difference.
Impractical Jokers: The Movie Is Half-Scripted And Half-Improv
The Impractical Jokers show relies on its authenticity, which means dealing with strangers instead of actors and being unscripted in their pranks. Unlike the show, Impractical Jokers: The Movie features a scripted storyline for half of the film that revolves around a Paula Abdul concert. In 1992, the Jokers had a mishap at a Paula Abdul gig and they reenact that moment by playing teenage versions of themselves. In the present-day, Abdul runs into the quartet at a Red Lobster and invites them to her show in Miami. However, Abdul only leaves the group three tickets. As the group travels from New York to Florida, they compete in hidden camera challenges in order to win one of the three spots to the concert. Whoever completes the fewest challenges loses and misses out on the concert. This is the biggest difference between Impractical Jokers: The Movie and the show, although it’s still mostly a springboard for the challenges (and punishments).
Impractical Jokers: The Movie’s Challenges Are Bigger, But Remain Authentic
Though there is a scripted storyline, Impractical Jokers: The Movie remains authentic in terms of their hidden camera challenges and pranks. One joker is still put into a real-life situation with an earpiece while the three jokers give hilarious instructions from afar. That being said, the movie provides bigger situations and challenges for the jokers to complete. For example, in one challenge, Gatto emerges from a cave in monster makeup and surprises a tour group. Plus, Impractical Jokers: The Movie inserts the group into new locations as opposed to the New York City area, where the show is predominantly set. The film features pranks in the National Mall in Washington D.C. and the headquarters of the Atlanta Hawks, and there are cameos from celebrities such as Jaden Smith. Many of these segments are bigger in scale than on the show, and given longer to run and breathe too.
In its first weekend at the box office, Impractical Jokers: The Movie got off to a great start, grossing over $2.6 million in only 357 locations. Look for the film to expand into more theaters nationwide thanks to a solid opening weekend gross. Since Impractical Jokers: The Movie is essentially a longer version of the Impractical Jokers show, expect fans to come out and enjoy the quartet that has been making them laugh for nearly a decade.
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