The latest installment of “Jackass” features the usual toilet humor, crazy stunts and hidden camera-style filming of their offensive acts – but this time it’s a family affair.
Yes, this “Jackass” movie has an actual plot to set up the gags. “Bad Grandpa” tells the story of Irving Zisman, 86 years old, newly widowed grandfather with a crazed libido. Irving, played by Jackass regular Johnny Knoxville in prosthetics, is celebrating his newfound freedom due to his wife’s passing when it is interrupted by his jail-bound daughter (Georgina Cates). Kimmy dumps her son Billy (Jackson Nicoll) on her father, forcing Irving to drive his grandson cross-country to dump him with his deadbeat dad.
Despite the entertaining premise, most parts of the film offer nothing more than elementary toilet humor, such as when the grandfather and grandson duo have a prolonged flatulent exchange in a diner until Irving suddenly loses control and defecates all over the diner wall.
Still, there is some heart beneath it all in Nicoll’s performance. The young actor has had other small roles with Knoxville (“Fun Size”), and here Nicoll’s Billy is adorable and earnest in his attempts to find a male role model for himself in his dysfunctional family. The grandfather and grandson relationship is flipped on its head, with Nicoll playing the responsible, straitlaced one, stealing many scenes away from Knoxville.
His character provides one of the few genuinely funny moments in the film during his entrance in a girl’s beauty pageant. In a sort of homage to “Little Miss Sunshine,” Nicoll performs an inappropriate yet hilariously choreography routine to “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” shocking the high-strung pageant mothers and daughters in the audience.
“Bad Grandpa” is by no means a respectable film — and Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the cast and crew have absolutely no intentions of making it one. The movie is made solely for fans of the Jackass brand of humor and, ultimately, it achieves its goal.