“When I wrote up Jackass 3D a couple years ago, I began with a statement:
There is something I am not ashamed to admit: I \m/ LOVE JACKASS! I dont care if you think less of me because of it.
That opinion has not changed in the slightest since.
It took me a while to get to Bad Grandpa, mostly because this wasn’t exactly gonna be one I could take Mom to, and I felt its boxoffice success bought me some time. (Srsly, how amused am I that this is what finally dethroned Gravity as #1?!) This time around, we’re not dealing with the band of boys and their antics. We’ve got Johnny Knoxville taking a Borat-esque approach to expanding one of his bits. His old man character, Irving Zisman, now has an intentially flimsy plot line to take his grandson across country to his father, mostly as an excuse to set up some candid camera inappropriate pranks on the unsuspecting public.
Things took a while to find their groove. At first, it did stumble on the same trouble I’d found with Borat where the scripted vs unscripted didn’t quite flow. Jackass works best unscripted, and some of the initial set ups felt forced. Although some of that may have been me thinking through the logistics of how such stunts were set up. What proprietors were in on the joke and to what extent? What would people’s reaction be when they found out the truth later off camera? How in the heck was he allowed to do [xyz]?
But once things did get going, and pranks got less set up and more spontaneous, and we did manage to form a character bond with grandpa and grandson, utter hilarity ensued. This is definitely one of those situations where I walked away thinking much more fondly of the film than I did in the moment.
I was utterly impressed with our kid, Jackson Nicoll. It’s one thing to have a kid memorize what to do. But having someone so young improv, and with some rather adult humor, that was kind of amazing. (Reminded me a lot of Ryan Pinkston on Punk’d, but a lot more natural). Some of my favorite moments were when it was just him and Johnny Knoxville, and he’d say something that would legitimately crack Knoxville up. His genuine laughter was easy to identify, and it occurred frequently. Knoxville, of course, was a total pro and hilarious. Even charming when not being too inappropriate.
Obvious set ups aside, there were some genius stunts in there. And the end credits are worth waiting for. They just packed in everything that didn’t fit into the “”story”” including a few very satisfying conclusions. So I still stand by the statement which kicked off this post.
Bad Grandpa – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n