JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 3, 2013

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” succeeds at recreating the real people, real reaction skits that we know and love from the “Jackass” series, posing Johnny Knoxville as his 86 year-old alter ego, Irving Zisman. All would have been well had the film just been skits and even some behind the footage in between these moments. Instead, the creators decided to give the film a “purpose” or through-line by weaving together some semblance of a cinematic story where Irving is taking his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoli) across the country to his deadbeat dad. These moments that act like spackle between segments miss there mark completely. The audience witnessing the film is in on the joke, therefore, there’s little reason to involve us in some strange Frankenstein monster meld between real life and fake story. For the most part, the funniest moments of the film are in the trailer including the boy-dressed-as-a-girl competing in the Little Miss pageant, with the talent show including a real-life striptease. Yes, these moments are humorous and the reacts are priceless, but most of this comes off a little too far-fetched and even sad at times, pointing a spotlight on some real-life travesties. That being said, the comedic timing of the very young Jackson Nicoli is what completely keeps this film going. Unlike any child actor I’ve seen before, his unwavering commitment to the jokes, especially when by himself talking to adults, is jaw-dropping. In the end, the “Jackass” folk tried something new with “Bad Grandpa” and even though it proved unsuccessful, the desire to branch out is commendable and will lead to bigger and better things.

RELEASE DATE
October 25, 2013

DIRECTOR
Jeff Tremaine

WRITTEN BY
Jeff Tremaine
Johnny Knoxville
Spike Jonze
Fax Bahr (story)
Adam Small (story)

STUDIO
Paramount Pictures

R
(for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use)

COMEDY
92 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Lance Bangs
Dimitry Elyashkevich

COMPOSER
Sam Spiegel
Koool G Murder

EDITOR
Seth Casriel
Matt Kosinski
Matthew Probst

CAST
Johnny Knoxville
Jackson Nicoll
Spike Jonze
Catherine Keener

PRODUCED BY
Johnny Knoxville
Jeff Tremaine
Derek Freda
Spike Jonze

BUDGET
$15 million

Leave a Reply