I get that the JACKASS movies are an acquired taste, but I was entertained and amused by BAD GRANDPA though it’s a shame that some of its more outrageous moments were ruined by the film’s trailer. 

A hybrid hidden camera film and narrative, BAD GRANDPA follows Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville in unrecognizable old-age make-up) as he transports his abandoned 8-year old grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll) across the country to deliver him to his deadbeat father. 

What transpires is a series of vignettes where Knoxville and Jackson behave in outrageous ways to illicit a variety of responses from the unexpecting rubes (aka John Q public). It’s better if I don’t go into detail so as not to spoil any of the surprise. Though with that said, some of the gags are far more successful than others. 

The big surprise of the film is that filmmakers Jeff Tremaine and Ben Hochstein make you care about Billy and his plight. There’s a sweetness to the film that emerges from all the filth that in the end is undeniable. 

A special nod goes out to Make-Up FX wizard Tony Gardner and his team for a fantastic make-up job on Knoxville. It holds up well to the scrutiny of HD and, by the fact that people accept him as a flesh and blood old-timer, in real-life too. 

Movies like BAD GRANDPA are a one-off experience for me as a movie-goer. I can’t imagine revisiting this film once the initial shock and surprise has worn off. So if you want a movie that will make you squirm a bit in your chair while you’re having a good laugh, this movie is worth a single viewing, but it will be easily forgotten.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014


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