Johnny Knoxville is back on the big screen doing what he does best, offending people and pulling over-the-top stunts for our amusement. Bad Grandpa is out October 25th, 2013 and is easily one of the funniest movies you’ll see this year. Think of it as an extended Jackass bit with one their favorite characters, old man Irving, but woven together in a style that mimics Sasha Baron Cohen’s Borat…or not so funny gay cousin, Bruno. There’s not quite as much grotesque nudity as these two predecessors, but Bad Grandpa will succeed because they paved the way for this type of “schock value with real person cast” genre. What sets this movie apart is the genius casting of Jackson Nicoll as Irving’s grandson Billy, an adorable, chubby little shithead that just wants to go fishing. It’s unbelievable that it’s taken this long for someone to steal a page from Chuck Lorre’s book and cash in on the type of character that really made Two and a Half Men – before his voice changed and nobody liked him.
So, let’s see how this beautiful story of love, loss, and saggy old man balls unfolds. The credits open with Irving and Bobby…Barry…Bi – whatever the hell his name is – sitting in two separate uncomfortable waiting rooms, presumably both expecting some rough news. Well, it turns out that Irving’s wife has passed and Billy’s crackhead mom is going to prison, which puts these two on a crash-course cross country journey to get Billy to his drug-pushing “computer salesman” father in Charlotte, NC. Just as you’d expect from a dirty old man like Irving, he’s none too happy that his recently freed schmeckel will be getting the treatment of the world’s charmingest little cockblock. With Irving on the prowl and Billy wanting a male role model in his life to fish with, the two get themselves into some outrageous situations on their journey. It’s nothing less than what we’ve come to expect from the guys at Jackass.
I didn’t hold out much hope that any movie this year would keep me laughing throughout quite like This is the End – and with that, I’ve given you my taste in lowbrow comedic cinema – but Bad Grandpa did one hell of a job at it. With a well-placed camera crew, dynamite make-up team, and actors who are professionals at keeping their cool, the scenes always felt real and organic. What Bad Grandpa may have lacked in creativity – pulling influence from Bad Santa (did you know Thurman Merman plays ball for Louisville now??? …okay not really, but the guy looks exactly like him), Little Miss Sunshine, and the aforementioned Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – it completely makes up for with some pithy dialogue and shock value.
Alright, so I get it, the movie isn’t for everyone; the fact is that you probably already know whether or not the crude humor expected from Dickhouse Productions is within your wheelhouse. I might be biased because I fit in that category, I definitely fit in this movie’s target demographic, but I don’t mind living up to the stereotype and will recommend Bad Grandpa to anyone looking to get away for an hour and a half to clear their mind and yuck it up. Chances are you’ll come away in a better mood and thinking twice before you grab change from the return of your next soda machine experience.