Joe Dirt 2 took less than five days streaming on Crackle to surpass 1 million views. And in the days since then, it has amassed many more. The release is defying expectations — to say the least — and it’s leaving many scratching their heads. How is it doing so well? (Besides David Spade being a universal sex symbol.) Here are a few reasons.
1. Why the hell not? It’s free.
That shit is free, yo! (At least, the word is, until the end of July.) Crackle might not be a power player network, at least not yet, but it’s making a name for itself with this atypical release and is setting the framework for films to come. And this much we know: Americans love freebies. It’s why there aren’t really newspapers or magazines anymore, and why there’s a line for a thimble full of chili at your local grocery store right now. This is, bar none, the main reason people are watching Joe Dirt 2.
2. It’s actually funny.
OK, look, if you didn’t like the first Joe Dirt, then you’re probably not going to like this one’s brand of outlandish, adolescent humor. It is so, so stupid. But it hits some of the notes that other modern dumb humor movies — like Dumb and Dumber To — have failed to hit. It’s more along the lines of Adam Sandler’s opus, Billy Madison, or the Happy Madison (the JD2 production company) vision for Deuce Bigalow than the awful drivel that Spade’s Saturday Night Live coeval Sandler has been cranking out as of late. (I just wanted to use “Adam Sandler,” “opus,” and “vision” in the same sentence.) Plus, Joe Dirt 2 has this insanely trippy Wizard of Oz/Forrest Gump/Back to the Future/Cast Away time-travel plotline that somehow features Patrick Warburton, the dude from Sugar Ray, and a scene centered around Lynyrd Skynyrd as kids. Must-see stuff. Or maybe-see. We’re still talking about Joe Dirt 2 here.
3. Millennials want their youths back.
People in their 20s and 30s have taken hostage the purse strings of major film studios, hence the glut of comic book movies, remakes/sequels, anything Smurfs-related, on and on. Just look at what will be in theaters this weekend: Vacation, Ant-Man, another Mission Impossible, another Jurassic Park, another Terminator. Good ol’ Joe Dirt came out in 2001, so Joe Dirt 2 rides that first wave of youngish nostalgia. With mullet jokes.
4. Dennis Miller doesn’t have too much screentime.
Thank all that is right and holy. Who has the energy for this guy?
5. Christopher Walken is in it.
And he’s fantastic. Maybe not as fantastic as in Peter Pan Live!, but close.