Movie Review: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa

IMDB, Bad Grandpa“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” on IMDB

Comedy, 93 Minutes, 2013

Every once in a while, whether they would like to admit it or not, everybody can benefit from a good, big dose of old-fashioned, plain-vanilla, purely analog stupid. The kind of stupid that makes your problems seem just a little smaller and your troubles just a little bit easier. The kind of stupid that the “Jackass” crew gleefully spews from every orifice.

The movie, obviously, continues the same shtick as the other “Jackass” movies: guys do ridiculous things in front of regular folks and secretly film it for our enjoyment. What sets this entry apart is the addition of a plot, of sorts, to tie the proceedings together. This works wonders to elevate it beyond the essentially random mayhem of its predecessors.

86 year-old Irving Zisman (played by a disguised Johnny Knoxville [IMDB]) is roped into taking his precocious nine year-old grandson, Billy, across country to his deadbeat dad. Sprouting from this premise are a heaping handful of loosely-connected hidden camera scenarios exploring some of the most profoundly disturbing child-care techniques you’re likely to see.

A few of the bits fall flat, especially a recurring theme of the old man trying to woo the ladies. There are also a few noticeable dead-spots that break up the pacing. These are overshadowed by the hilarious physical gags and stunts. Overall you’ll be laughing more than not, often against your better judgement while wincing, but laughing nonetheless.

The story may not be original or even well portrayed, but it does provide surprisingly poignant emotional grounding. Your enjoyment of the movie, of course, is going to mirror exactly how  much you like this particular brand of inarguably immature humor. Let’s do a little test: does the thought of an old-man getting his penis stuck in a soda-machine made you giggle? Those who answered “Yes,” may very well like this film.

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