Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

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bad grampaThis movie wasn’t screened for the critics. That’s never a good sign. Since it surprised everyone by being the box office champ pulling in $35 mil, off to the Reading Gaslamp I went.

The film was hit-and-miss. On one hand, I laughed a lot. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do in a comedy? On the other hand, so many of the gags fell flat. The raunchy candid camera shtick is okay, albeit a bit mean-spirited at times.

The idea of Johnny Knoxville taking his Irving Zisman character and making a complete movie with him is perfect. The problem is the combination of a normal film mixed with real gags being secretly filmed.

As much chemistry as the boy and grandpa had together, I cringed every time they started up with their banter in the car. The vehicle was an appropriate looking baby blue, long ‘70s Lincoln.

The boy is played by Jackson Nicoll, and this anagram for Jack Nicholson might just be as good an actor. I can’t remember the last time I saw such a perfect straight-man.

I think the approach for the Jackass crew to do this for a movie was a good idea. It’s a little more along the lines of the Borat style humor than the often gross gags Jackass did. The movie was just…missing something.

It’s fun to watch the rage from unsuspecting folks. You also realize how many stupid people there are in the world. The two women at a postal annex willing to ship a little kid in a box could be at the top of the list.

There were also a number of heavy-set folks missing teeth. It’s like the internet photos you see labeled “Wal-mart customers.”

That being said, there are also a lot of polite and patient people; bikers that want to protect this kid from his nasty white trash father, or men on the street that are asked by Nicoll to be “my new dad.”

There’s a bit with Irving getting, uh…stuck in a vending machine. That works. The segment in a strip club was hysterical. If you know what to expect and are familiar with the Jackass routines, you’ll enjoy it.

I thought at times they borrowed from so many other sources, for instance a fart contest uses a gag from Hall Pass. A beauty pageant routine borrows from Little Miss Sunshine; and Irving making his grandson a sandwich in the store by picking out various condiments without paying for anything – that was the opening scene of the 1970 movie C.C. and Company  (with great thespian Joe Namath).

The closing credits were fun and gave the whole movie a much needed empathy for all the rubes that had been featured through out.

I’m shocked that I’m about to give this movie one star more than I’m giving 12 Years a Slave.

This gets 2 ½ stars out of 5.

3 comments

  • Mark Stewart

    I saw a couple of previews of this movie. Correct me if Im wrong but isnt there alot of cursing by kids and other inappropriate adult content that the kid(s) in the movie are exposed to? I put this in the same movie category as the Kickass movies which you yourself I believe said was inappropriate in the way the kids were used in the movie that is (i.e. the violence etc).
    I havent seen the movie but I think this one goes a little overbaord for me…….maybe Im getting old…er!

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