There are a lot of things in this world that make us cringe. Truthfully, we all have our limits. We have to have them. That’s what makes most of us decent human beings. In reality though, some of our limits are a lot more extreme than others. This is how the degenerates behind Jackass have founded their careers. I’m definitely not judging though. If I had to imagine, I’d say it’s a hard life forming a career out of wiener jokes, pooping in public, and having your man bits beaten on a daily basis. They seem to enjoy it. Fortunately for me, I stopped doing these things when I was eight. Well…the wiener jokes haven’t really stopped but that’s tit for tat. However, this wonderful bunch of friends who all resemble people we hated hanging out with in middle school continue to push those limits and we get to reap the benefits. Maybe not benefits, but at least we get to laugh at their misfortune and still retain the hopes of having children.
Recently, I had the option of seeing the Jackass troupe’s new film, Bad Grandpa. If you’ve ever seen a Jackass film or Dickhouse production, you probably would expect the same thing I did going in. I was not dissapointed. There is plenty of debauchery and the majority of this film falls right in line with the Jackass trilogy and the CKY movement. The group sticks to what has made them successful in the past. One key difference between this film and the rest of Jackass repertoire is that this film actually has a plot. I know it’s hard to believe. This film follows the journey of a grandpa and his grandson as they travel across the country to find the boy’s father. Along the way, of course, they experience life in true Jackass style. In my opinion, this is not the worst way to tell a hilarious story.
Let’s be honest. This film is really close to being Jackass 4 but with just a little bit more. That being said those films were a hit on an audience with a certain characteristic; no souls. Those people without souls will absolutely laugh until their faces hurt while watching this movie. This includes myself so don’t feel ashamed if you want to go out and watch it. I would actually watch it again but be prepared for balls in plenty of unhappy situations. Plus these are the worst kind; old man balls. The guys from Jackass have some pretty magical moments in this movie. These include things such as: grandpa teaching his grandson how to hit on girls, where to go to have fun, and techniques on how to pass the time, all in typical crotchety, old man style.
The nice thing about this film having a plot means it has a beginning and an end. This helps to break the mold from what I view as YouTube compilation style filming seen in previous Jackass films. Segment after segment gets dull even if each is funny, and I think I enjoyed this film a lot more because there was a progression you could follow easily. The Grandpa character is one we’ve seen previously in Jackass films from Johnny Knoxville. He portrays the crude old man in this film believably and strangely reminded me of my own grandpa. Not because of senility, but a pure badass quality. I’ve learned a lot of important lessons from my grandpa just as Billy (Jackson Nicoll) learns from Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville). This kid is going to have some giant pants to fill.
Another impressive fact of Bad Grandpa is that it is filmed within a completely unknowing environment. All the emotions and reactions are real, and some of the hilarity comes from how people react to the ridiculous situations Irving presents. While Knoxville is experienced with the pranking routine, Jackson Nicoll does an amazing job performing on the spot and filling in as a clever, spitfire of a young man. You can see the repeated chemistry between the two that was established from when the two first worked together in the film Fun Size. He is a truly loveable character.
While anyone who watches Bad Grandpa will have to have a certain regard for crude humor, Story + hilarious practical jokes = Good time. Anyone who watches this film will be unable to hold back a smile. Be prepared however to see things you can’t unsee and something typical of Jackass style. A happy ending? Get your mind out of the gutter.
I give Bad Grandpa a 3 out of 5.
by Jason Burleson