Bad Grandpa, sees 86 year old Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) have to deal with the death of his wife, Gloria (Spike Jonze), as well as look after his grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll) while his daughter goes to jail. Billy wants to stay with Irving, but there is no way Irving is keeping him. Now that his wife is dead, it is time for him to start living! So, it’s time for a roadtrip across America to get Billy to his dead beat dad, as well as find a fitting way to farewell his dead wife.
The last thing you expect when you see the title Jackass presents: Bad Grandpa is a sweet, tender story. But that in part is what you are getting from this film.
Take note that I said in part, because this is a Jackass film afterall, so there still are stunts, pranks and laughs galore! This is riotously funny.
Grandpa Irving has made a few appearances in past Jackass films and he garnered many laughs, but could he hold a whole film on his own? The answer is yes, when that said film has a narrative.
Bad Grandpa is Jackass meets Borat. There is a narrative thrown in amongst the many pranks that are played on unsuspecting members of the public. Including a hilarious funeral scene and even a pageant that will have you comparing this film to Little Miss Sunshine!
Johnny Knoxville has been aptly supported by his Jackass cast mates in previous films and TV series and really needed a little co-star who could hold their own against him, and when pranking unsuspecting suspects. This is a lot of pressure to put on such young shoulders but Nicoll manages this well.
Nicoll is aptly matched to Knoxville. He doesn’t come across as a smug, annoying kid. Instead he is one that you want to hug and even hang out and laugh with.
It is so good to go to a comedy and finally laugh out loud. Be warned, just becuse there is a kid in this film, it doesn’t mean that it is suitable for the little ones. There are lots of inappropriate, crude moments that will have you shrieking and laughing out loud but you don’t want to be sharing these laughs with the little people in your life.
Bad Grandpa is the surprise film of the year for me. It was laugh out loud, slap your thighs funny, while also being heartwarming and endearing. Who knew bad could be so good!