With my last two visits to the Showcase Cinema being for Captain Phillips and Prisoners, I was in much need of some comic relief. This was my main reason for choosing to watch Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. It’s been over ten years since Jackass graced our television screens. In 2000 it was the talk of the town, but with every new series and movie, the pranks became increasingly less original and funny. By the time Jackass 3D was released in 2010, the well seemed to have well and truly dried up.
Don’t get me wrong, the third movie had its moments. I particularly found myself laughing loudly during the scenes where Johnny Knoxville caused havoc in a latex mask – fooling people into thinking he was a dirty old man. This particular elderly man is the star of Bad Grandpa.
This controversial comedy sees a young boy named Billy (brilliantly played by Jackson Nicoll) being told he has to live with his deadbeat father whilst his mother is in prison. The boy’s Grandpa, Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) is the man to take him there. As you can imagine from a Jackass production, the cross-country trip doesn’t go smoothly.
The plot is simple, but that’s not what this film is about. Most of us watch these types of movies (Borat, Bruno, etc) to witness real people’s reactions. Throughout the 1hr 32mins, Zisman is causing mischief in front of hidden cameras. Although the jokes and stunts may be scripted, the reactions of the general public aren’t. With the Grandpa being as outspoken and inappropriate as he is, anything can happen.
What works best here is the genuinely great chemistry between Knoxville and Niccol. I must give credit to their acting abilities also. For a while you forget that Knoxville is really omly half the age of the man he’s portraying and Niccol comes across as a real child, rather than a ‘Hollywood movie kid’ we see so often in films.
Although some jokes fall flat, overall there are some serious laughs to be had here. The Jackass franchise has never produced ‘good cinema’ and has never aspired to do so. They produce guilty pleasure movies. A guilty pleasure is exactly what this is.
You’ll get the most out of Bad Grandpa if you switch off your brain and give in to the outrageousness.
Catch this comedy (and much more) now at Showcase, Peterborough. For show times visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk
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Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll & a lot of unsuspecting victims!
Running Time: 1hr 32mins
Director: Jeff Tremaine
See it if you liked: Borat & Jackass – The Movie[youtube id=”_MSrAwfagG4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]