When the first Jackass movie hit theaters in 2002, no one knew exactly how many more times the gang could perform stunts for our viewing pleasure. More than 10 years later, the franchise has three more films under its belt with the addition of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.
In all previous Jackass films, the gang of dimwitted friends would film themselves performing stunts that not only made people react in a variety of ways, but also provided people with a sense of undeniable laughter. This film does exactly that, but with a little different idea in mind. Johnny Knoxville plays an 86-year-old grandpa who embarks on a great journey to deliver his 8-year-old grandson (Jackson Nicoll) to his not-so-average father in a different state. Throughout the journey, the two become attached and put both of their childish minds to good use by performing in front of people who think everything is really happening. But little do they know, they are just planned acts of destruction.
In an attempt to change things around a bit, Bad Grandpa adds something no other previous film had, a plot. Because of this idea, we are presented with less humorous stunts and more boring dialogue that most of us probably don’t even care about. Although the one-liners from Knoxville can be funny at times, there’s really no reason to pay attention to what’s coming out of either one’s mouth.
The young actor Jackson Nicoll, who is just beginning his acting career, can add this film to his repertoire of successful roles. Not only does he make childhood acting look easy, but also having good chemistry with the ever-so-kooky Knoxville is a success itself.
The acts the two perform together will have you coughing up a lung from so much laughing. Whether it’s flaunting male genitalia, or flatulating feces in public, the stunts are without a doubt a kick in the nuts.
When a film like this is made, the first question people ask is, are the people reacting to the stunts, the real deal? The answer is yes. I’m sure the businesses were in on the setup process, but as far as the people entering the premises, everyone was fair game. How would you react if you saw someone with his private parts stuck in a vending machine?
In a few acts of treachery, Knoxville messes with a wedding and even goes as far as parading around in a funeral home after his dead wife is bumped out of her casket. Although these things can happen in real life, they have to be somewhat believable. In this case, these scenes just didn’t do it for me.
After all was said and done, the story accomplishes its goals and the two characters end bonding together while fishing, along with dumping the dead wife.