Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Spike Jonze, Christine Keeler
Directed by: Jeff Tremaine
Synopsis: 86-year-old Irving Zisman takes a trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to take his 8 year-old grandson, Billy, back to his real father.
I’ll start by saying I’m a big Jackass fan. But I prefer the crazy stunts than the hidden camera kind of stuff, so this won’t be a biased review. But this was FUNNY!
I didn’t think it would be as funny as it was. The reviews have been ho-hum and the concept of drawing out Irving Zisman for an hour and a half seemed to be stretching it a bit. And it kind of is, but it still works. And it had me crying with laughter at least ten times throughout the movie, which means it was a success in my book!
The film has a wafer thin plot, purely used as a vehicle for the zany stunts and comedy that Johnny Knoxville throws at us. There are some really funny physical comedy moments that I wasn’t expecting that had me in stitches. I did wonder if some of the supposed ‘real life’ people in the scenes weren’t actually actors. If not, they found themselves in some weird situations (why would they be at a strangers funeral for a start) that would certainly have had me running away very quickly.
Jackson Nicoll, who plays Irving’s grandson, is fantastically funny when confronting the public (I had to feel sorry for the guy he was calling Dad)! Both he and Knoxville build up a real bond which I think must have carried over into real life. There is a particular moment when the kid farts and curses, and Irving laughs but you can tell Knoxville actually breaks character and is laughing for real.
Let’s face it, Bad Grandpa isn’t going to win any best picture awards, and I’m sure Knoxville, Jonze and Tremaine wouldn’t have it any other way. This is just what it is, a bad mannered, gross, slightly creepy comedy. To sum it up, my wife is seven months pregnant and uncomfortable and needed cheering up last night, and I think this film really did the trick as she too laughed numerous times. So, job done!