No, not you, the movie. Johnny Knoxville has been producing, directing and acting in the world famous trilogy of the “Jackass” movies for the longest time, and we are familiar with his work on many MTV programs as well. This weekend, he unleashed the newest of his works, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.”
Knoxville plays the notorious elderly character, Irving Zisman, with the aid of an “old person suit” that originated in the “Jackass” movies.
Irving Zisman is in fact a “Bad Grandpa” for many of reasons. Ever since Knoxville started playing Irving in the first three films, he had a very bad habit of doing everything from shoplifting to sexually harassing young women, to expressing his complete distaste for those who get in the way of his happy life as a hedonistic elderly man.
In the new movie, we follow Zisman on his journey of driving his young grandson, Billy, across the country to deliver him to his father. Billy, played by Jackson Nicoll, lived with his mother until she was recently sentenced to prison after being caught selling drugs. Irving has some extra time now that his wife recently died and reluctantly takes on this cross-country task.
I know what you’re thinking, “This is supposed to be a comedy?” Yes, folks, it is. If you are familiar at all with the Jackass movies, you already know that they make what would normally seem to be the most morose and dark issues and turn them into completely ironic slapstick jokes and pranks in a real life setting.
These movies are all shot in the real world with according reactions of normal people witnessing it happen. In “Bad Grandpa,” Knoxville encounters problems that range from getting his family jewels caught in a vending machine to enrolling Billy into a young girls’ beauty pageant where he does a strip tease.
This humor I well know is distasteful to many who will look at these encounters and say, “Oh that’s not right, they shouldn’t be doing that.” To these people, I would like to say lighten up. Things don’t always have to be kosher for them to be hilarious. These movies are meant to be sexually questionable and morally challenging; that’s what gives off this “funny” we’re talking about.
So once you get on this light-hearted level of humor (the best kind) you can really feel your sides splitting when Irving and Billy have a farting contest in a diner which ends in a shart from old Irving. You will also cry of joy when you laugh at 86-year-old Irving as he tries to pick up some women from ladies night at a strip club by joining in with the male strippers.
Young Nicoll does a good job of playing Billy in the film as well. He helps his grandfather ward off people who are giving him a hard time about drinking beer with 8 year-old Billy on a park bench. He also has a very direct and hilariously morbid way of informing people of things such as his mother being addicted to drugs or his lack of a stable father.
This duo truly takes you to the next level of a journey by two people who have the world as their playground, in a very literal sense. However, in addition to the countless funny aspects to this movie, there is also an element of seriousness and bonding as well.
Because Billy has a mother in jail and a father who only cares about drinking, he really bonds with Irving, who also has an opening in his life with the loss of his wife. While hesitant at first, Irving really warms up to the idea of spending time and eventually taking full care of Billy.
This story has some deeper emotional aspects which are good, but remember, it’s a “Jackass” movie. “Bad Grandpa” is completely slapstick, questionable, provocative and just obnoxiously funny. There are no other movies that make me laugh as hard as these do.
Get out to see “Bad Grandpa” or Irving might just run you over like he did that penguin statue … or that road sign.