Director: Jeff Tremaine
Writers: Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Fax Bahr, Adam Small
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Greg Harris, Georgina Cates, Kamber Hejlik, Jill Kill, Madison Davis, Jack Polick, Marilynn Allain, Catherine Keener, Spike Jonze
Synopsis: 86-year-old Irving Zisman is on a journey across America with the most unlikely companion: his 8 year-old grandson, Billy.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.
Bad Grandpa....another film by the same jerks that brought you "Jackass"...
For those that read my review of "Jackass 3D", you know I wasn't it's biggest fan. Although I do admit in hindsight that I might've been too harsh on the movie itself, I still stand by what I said about it's 3-D feature being a gimmick, and it's poor quality. But then again, "Jackass 3-D" wasn't intended for audiences like me that love narratives when they're watching a film.
Whereas all the "Jackass" films, they're not designed to tell any kind of cohesive narrative, as their only designed to make people laugh with random d**k jokes being thrown around randomly. On that note, the "Jackass" films seem to really punch that ticket with audiences that don't mind seeing a movie like that. If you're one of those type of people that love the "Jackass" films, then I'm certainly not going to judge you, or knock you for liking those kind of movies. In fact, I'm still trying to understand why I don't like the "Jackass" style of humor myself, but it's simply not my cup of tea at the moment. I mean there's only so many times a guy can get hit in the balls before it starts to get boring. At least, it's that way to me anyway.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by "Bad Grandpa." Although I wouldn't call it the best comedy that I've ever seen, the film is rather funny in it's own charm. The film's story follows an old man whose wife dies. Although most would think he'd be sad about it, he's actually quite happy because he'll now be free to chase after other girls. Unexpectedly though, he soon learns that his daughter is going to jail soon, and needs him to drive her son up to live with his father for awhile.
The old man accepts begrudgingly, as he fears that the kid will cramp his style with the ladies now that he's a free man. Plus, the fact that he hates his son in law, who does a lot of shady business dealings, doesn't exactly help either. And, that's basically the entire premise of the film in a nutshell.
The story serves no other purpose than to set up the various d**k jokes, fart gags and other "Jackass" level stunts throughout the film. Like the movies and TV series, the entire premise sets up the gags around normal unsuspecting people to pull these stunts around for shock affect.
The cinematography is even reminiscent of the same style used in the movies and TV series. Therefore, if you're a "Jackass" fan that fears that this'll stray away from the "Jackass" formula because it has something of a story, then have no fear. The story isn't even much of one, as I mentioned earlier, as you can tell exactly what's going to happen after the first ten minutes of this film. You know at some point the old man and kid are going to bond. You know that eventually the old man is going to learn to love the kid even though he hates him at first..blah blah. But as I mentioned before, nobody ever watches the "Jackass" films for their cohesive story narratives. No, they watch them for the jokes, and that's exactly what they get with "Bad Grandpa."
Although the jokes can border on the line of juvenile, they're quite funny to watch. Granted, I wouldn't recommend this comedy to everybody, but if you're one those type of fans that love d**k jokes in your films, then "Bad Grandpa" is for you.
As for the make up artists that made Johnny Knoxville into an old man, I have to say I was fairly impressed by their work. In fact, I didn't even recognize him throughout the film. Although I doubt we'll be hearing about this movie earning any kind of Oscar love next year, I wouldn't mind if it got nominated for "Best Makeup", as they certainly did a great job dressing up Johnny Knoxville.
Overall, I won't go out of my way to say that I love this movie, nor will I ever say that I hate it. But, I would say for what it's trying to be, it's okay. If you never cared for the "Jackass" films to begin with, then chances are you won't like this one. However, if you're a huge fan of the "Jackass" movies, then this one will be right up your alley, as it's certainly worth checking out at a rating of two and a half out of four.
© 2013 Steven Escareno