Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

As someone who grew up watching Jackass (the original TV show, its spinoffs, and the movies), I knew exactly what to expect going into this: ninety minutes of hilarious, largely plotless antics featuring the grumpy old man character that Johnny Knoxville played in several classic Jackass sketches. And while this film does have a threadbare plot about that man, known as Irving, trying to bring his grandson Billy from Nebraska to his father (a white-trash drug dealer pothead) in North Carolina after his crack whore mother gets thrown in jail, that's not what the film is about. Like I said, if you're going into a Jackass movie, you're not getting high art, but you will laugh your ass off. Bad Grandpa is lewd, crude, low-brow, anarchic, and hilarious, with humor that, when it hits, will bust your gut like a blow from Apollo Creed.

This is, again, one of those hilarious comedies where I can't really say much without spoiling what makes this film so watchable in the first place. This is especially the case here, since the film is pretty much all comedy, with little in the way of plot, characters, or acting. All I can discuss is the film's general tenor, which is a hidden-camera mockumentary in which Knoxville and the boy playing Billy, Jackson Nicoll, do some silly shit and the people around them react to it. While Knoxville and Nicoll's behavior is scripted, the reactions aren't, and they are often just as funny as whatever happened to get them riled up in the first place. The jokes don't always hit their mark -- in particular, a lot of the best moments (such as the beauty pageant scene) were spoiled to death in the trailers -- but it hits more often than not. It is best to go into this one blind, not watching the trailers so that you don't know the punchlines to the best gags.

Score: 4 out of 5

It's disposable trash, but it's hilarious disposable trash. While I would love to ask Hollywood why they only released one horror movie this October, this film is funny enough, especially after a long drought for good comedies, that I can partly forgive them.

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