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"Nitro is about trying to find where it's not possible to go, and then going there," we're told in the opening moments of "Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D."

It's also about coming up with stunts that are really dumb and then doing them anyway. The result is a jaw-dropping, heart-pounding, awe-inspiring, incredibly stupid 85 minutes.

Filmed largely in Utah, "Nitro Circus" offers a series of astonishing stunts. Sending a school bus and a semi sailing. Base jumping off a 63-story building. Double flips on a Big Wheel. Flips in a wheelchair. Flipping cars. Sending a boat flying. Launching snowmobiles off ramps. Nitro golf, which you have to see to believe.

And when they use trikes and bikes to jump from one building to another hundreds of feet in the air with no safety rigging or nets — well, it's not for the faint of heart.

There's the requisite warning not to try this at home. And we do see injuries, including one serious accident.

But "Nitro Circus" is something closely akin to "Jackass," as Johnny Knoxville says on camera: "It's like all the same inbred family."

The "Nitro Circus" stunts are astonishing; the film's slim narrative less so. It's built as a series of flashbacks as the troupe prepares for its live Las Vegas debut — and the build-up is better than the climax.

There are laugh-out-loud moments that happen while the stunts are under way; the attempts at scripted comedy fall flat.

And while we're repeatedly told this is an attempt to convince people that the stunts people have seen on the "Nitro Circus" TV series on Fuel TV and MTV since 2006 are special-effects free, the 3-D technology makes some of them look fake.

But the movie accomplishes exactly what the filmmakers intended — entertaining people who are into this sort of thing.


"Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D"

This locally produced movie is filled with death-defying stunts that are entertaining even if they aren't smart.

Where • Local theaters

When • Opens Wednesday, Aug. 8

Rating • PG-13 for extreme-sports violence; some profanity

Running time • 85 minutes

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