The first thing you have to know about the latest Jackass movie is that it’s not a film, or at least not a traditional feature film. Then why am I even reviewing this non-film? Because against all odds, Bad Grandpa was nominated for an Academy Award! Yes, best makeup for so cleverly disguising funnyman, writer, producer and bad grandpa himself Johnny Knoxville as an 80-year-old geezer. Bad Grandpa is just a string of entertaining (not necessarily funny) pranks pulled on everyday people and filmed with a hidden camera. You can watch the end credits and special features to see the how and why.
8-year-old Billy (Jackson Nicoll) has a crack addict for a mom, and he announces it at the dentist office while he waits for her in the lobby. He explains to the elderly ladies on either side of him how her breath is so bad from all the drugs she has smoked. Billy’s mom drops him off to stay with his grandpa Irving Zisman (Knoxville) while she serves her time in jail; of course this happens at the funeral home while Irving is saying good riddance to his wife of 46 years. “I thought she would never die!” So he can live the rest of his life as a dirty old man, Irving attempts to drive little Billy across the country to North Carolina to hand him off to his father.
The most shocking element in the film is not the fake penis that gets stuck in the soda vending machine as Irving tries to rip it out with onlookers watching; nor is it when the body falls out of the casket or even the vulgar language used around a child. It’s the fact that Oscar nominated writer Spike Jonze (Her) co-wrote the screenplay with Knoxville and produced the film. The genius (if you can call it that) certainly paid off for Knoxville and crew, as Bad Grandpa topped the charts in its theatrical debut. Budgeted at $15 million, it took in over $30 and will likely gross a lot more on DVD release. This is what America wants: stupid people playing tricks on stupid people while stupid people pay to watch; it’s also known to some people as television.
Final Thought – Perverted prank videos nominated for an Oscar.
By: Dustin Chase