Susan Granger's review of 'Bad Grandpa'
Published 12:23 pm, Saturday, November 9, 2013
In this outrageous comedy, actor/comedian Johnny Knoxville hams it up, buried under layers of latex as Irvin Zisman, the proverbial dirty old man. Originally introduced during the final season of MTV's "Jackass," crotchety 86-year-old Irving now has a full-fledged family, including a crack-addicted daughter (Georgina Kates), who is headed for prison, leaving Grandpa to deliver his cherubic, 8-year-old grandson Billy (Jackson Nicholl) from Nebraska to the boy's derelict father (Greg Harris) in North Carolina. After UPS refuses to oblige, their cross-country road trip commences.
Using the improvisational "Borat"/"Bruno" faux-documentary style of Sacha Baron Cohen, self-absorbed, foul-mouthed, totally irresponsible Irving pulls hidden-camera pranks that wreak havoc on unsuspecting real people's lives. Like having unwitting furniture movers help him load the swaddled corpse of his late wife Ellie into the trunk of his decrepit Lincoln. That's only the beginning. Lecherous Irving goes into a strip club only to discover that the clientele are black women and the performers are hunky men. Undeterred, he doffs his pants and gyrates so enthusiastically that his pendulous, prosthetic scrotum falls out of his underwear.
The difference between Cohen's formula and the creators of the "Jackass" movies is that -- while Cohen goes for biting satire -- Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Jeff Tremaine incorporate genuine, geriatric sweetness as they follow a raunchy, superficially scripted story line that includes a visit to a bingo parlor, puking, Irving's penis caught in a vending machine and even an obnoxious, sexually charged "Little Miss Sunshine"-inspired child beauty-pageant performance in which deadpan Billy performs in drag to Warrant's "Cherry Pie" as another contestant makes Miley Cyrus' tongue-twisting and twerking look mild.
If you're convulsed with laughter at explosive diarrhea, chortle whenever someone farts and/or have relished the lewdness of previous "Jackass" movies, get in line at the box office. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.
More InformationFact box
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa" is a gleeful, gross-out 4. Outtake revelations during the end credits show why unwitting bystanders didn't immediately call "911" to report child neglect/abuse.