Cinema-Maniac: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013) Review

Bad Grandpa lose story is about 86-year-old Irving Zisman is on a journey across America with the most unlikely companion: his 8 year-old grandson, Billy. The plot is serviceable doing exactly what it was intended to do; string together practical jokes and physical comedy in a serviceable narrative without feeling like one giant YouTube video. In context it makes sense for the duo to travel around to several locations and because of the way the characters are written the jokes make sense. It has good intentions providing a different take on embracing parenthood. Characters without question are far from being decent, but contains a heart in the bond between two unlikely characters. In its core it’s a basic story which evidently feels force in its format. Whenever the fictional Zisman interacts with a non-fictional character pacing becomes inconsistent. Spending too much time setting up the joke in a specific manner or waiting on a camera man to capture some of the non actors reactions. Jokes here in general are nothing you wouldn’t expect from MTV; sex jokes, jokes about women and male genitalia, fart jokes, old people doing crazy things, and a kid joining his grandpa on the hijinks. Hardly does it diverge from its own brand of humor for better and worse. Sure the plot is basic and far from what the majority will ever remember, but it gives the film a better purpose than just being just another series of hijinks just for the sake of it.

The film while mostly a series of jokes with hidden camera catching regular people reaction it does contain bits of fiction meant to be fiction. Certain scenes without question feel heavily acted destroying what joke was meant to be found in the reaction. When the reactions are genuine it’s funny, but when it’s staged it gets across the opposite effect. Cinematography quality is minor distraction. At times the cinematography will differ appearing grainy while appearing clear in the next shot. Acting is one dimensional whenever the film allows there to be. Johnny Knoxville and co-star Jackson Nicoll retain the same personas from beginning to end. Knoxville is a foul mouthed and sex obsessed old men while Nicoll is a kid doing and saying funny thing. Jackson Nicoll surpasses Knoxville when it comes to improv making his scenes flow naturally as oppose to Knoxville where his improv can come across as awkward.

Bad Grandpa doesn’t have much of a story, but it’s a serviceable distraction before going into the comedic setups. It’s lack variety when it comes to having a sense of humor, but what kind of jokes it chooses to create can bring laughter to its audience.

Rating: 7/10

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