The stars of the truTV series head to the movies with film designed to please themselves

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The "Impractical Jokers" gang sure loves cracking each other up.

They've been doing so for eight seasons on truTV, engaging in scenarios of "graphic stupidity" designed to embarrass each other, with a ninth season on the way. But the slapdash "Impractical Jokers: The Movie" shows the group's particular talents are best suited to the low stakes of reality TV.

"Impractical Jokers: The Movie" is so thinly plotted that it makes screenwriting look like one of the group's impromptu challenges.  

The Staten Island foursome — lifelong buddies Brian "Q" Quinn, Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano, James "Murr" Murray and Joe "Joe" Gatto (sorry, not everyone gets a fun nickname) — is invited to a Paula Abdul concert (you read that right) in Miami and hits the road, competing in improvised hidden camera competitions along the way.

The goal in each of these, whether it's faking a job interview with the Atlanta Hawks or getting passerbys to help fix their car, is to make each other laugh. In each, they succeed.

Half the fun of the "Impractical Jokers" concept is watching the dudes make each other break. It's not like "SNL" cast members fighting back giggles to stay in character, it's these guys' job to make each other laugh. If they're not laughing, the audience isn't either.  

But mostly "Impractical Jokers: The Movie" is like scrolling through the Instagram stories of someone else's vacation: you can appreciate that they're having a good time, but you're frequently reminded that you're just staring at a screen.

With, say, the "Jackass" crew, the individuals' charisma and camaraderie with one another elevated their adventures above the inanity of their gross-out stunts. It was about brotherhood, man.

The "Impractical Jokers" aren't nearly as endearing. They certainly seem to be having a good time, but the louder they laugh, the more it seems like they're sharing an inside joke with themselves. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

'Impractical Jokers: The Movie'

GRADE: C

Rated PG-13: for suggestive content, language, some drug references and brief nudity

Running time: 92 minutes

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