Vile fun: ‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa’


Source: MCTdirect

Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll star in 'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.'

DJ Oh, Columnist

This movie will make you wince, cackle and probably throw up a little in your mouth. The infamous “Jackass” series storms the big screen again with another hidden camera comedy flick — this time with the deceptively family-friendly name, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.”

The movie’s plot follows an 84-year-old man named Irving Zisman (played by Johnny Knoxville) and his 8-year-old grandson Billy (played by the 9-year-old Jackson Nicoll) as they travel across the United States to meet Billy’s father. Along the way, the duo embark on a series of increasingly daring and wince-inducing public pranks, which include hitting on old ladies playing Bingo at a recreation center, smuggling out food inside pants from a supermarket and a very unnerving scene that takes place in a male strip club.

The trailer boasts the authenticity of the pranks, stating, “Real people, real reactions, real messed up.” And the movie lives up to its promises, especially the last one. Profanities, fecal matters, prosthetic genitals and many, many awkward stares fill up this montage of eccentric behavior, and if these things intrigue you, then “Bad Grandpa” is the movie for you.

Although “Bad Grandpa” packs a wallop in shock value, viewers expecting the same level of controversial and vulgar stunts as shown in previous “Jackass” movies may be disappointed, as “Bad Grandpa” focuses more on inducing hilarious reactions from bystanders in bizarre situations. But “Bad Grandpa” presents a more interesting and unique take on stunt pranks that were becoming more and more mundane with each new “Jackass” movie.

The young Jackson Nicoll ingeniously pulls off the likable prankster character and plays a pivotal role in propelling the unconventional movie. His innocuous baby face makes him a perfect candidate for duping people into uncomfortable situations — and he knows it. And boy, the climactic scene at the beauty pageant might as well put him on the candidate list for the Best Performance of the Year.

With its gross-out humor and adult themes, “Bad Grandpa” is definitely not for everyone. But this new endeavor will please its longstanding fans and anyone with a taste for some vulgar, adrenaline-filled action. Its highly original storytelling and the ability to weave in incredulous and disgusting escapades with solid storyline differentiate “Bad Grandpa” from the low-budget MTV silliness that it spawned from. 

At age 42, Johnny Knoxville can still handle being rocketed into a glass wall and getting punched in the face by an airbag. Let’s hope his body can handle a few more “Jackass” movies.