Monday, 2 December 2013

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013) - ★★★★½

Director: Jeff Tremaine
Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Greg Harris, Georgina Cates

Bad Grandpa is one of the most uproariously funny movies I've ever seen. Scene after scene, this film was consistent in its level of unpredictability, originality, and downright hilarious gags. I'd go as far as to say that this is the BEST Jackass movie ever made. No, it doesn't have the classic stuntmen/pranksters such as Chris Pontius, Bam Margera, or Steve-O. It's simply Johnny Knoxville and the sensational Jackson Nicoll, who together have a damned funny, infectious chemistry. It's a surprisingly well put-together film, with a laid-back soundtrack and nice cinematography. What makes this movie work on a cinematic level is that it sticks to a coherent storyline, that is played out through enacted scenes AND pranks on real human beings. I just loved Bad Grandpa, which deserves high praise for making me almost fall out of my chair in laughter, twice!

Octogenarian Irving (Johnny Knoxville) is a newly widowed man that loves women, booze, and his new-found freedom from marriage. When his meth-addicted daughter has to go back to jail, he must take his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll) across state to his biological father. What ensues on their adventure is a series of really funny gags, and a couple of the funniest moments I've ever seen on film.

Here's the thing. This kind of film either appeals to you, or it doesn't. There were mixed reviews from critics, and mixed opinions from various Jackass fans. In this humble reviewer's opinion, Bad Grandpa is a near-perfect comedy. It's not striving for wit, or intelligence. It strives for laughter and shock-value. To me, it achieved both of these things... and then some.

There were many highlights to me. One of the funniest moments comes at the start of the film, when Irving gets his penis stuck in a vending machine. It was one of the most cringe-worthy, funniest things I've ever seen. The reactions of the people were freaking priceless. Even Billy got to have some fun on the street, asking random men if they would be his father, and telling strangers that his mum's breath smells of meth. From shoplifting, to crashing a male strip-club, to defiling the sacred game of Bingo, to making a joke out of the Guardian's of the Children bikie gang... Johnny Knoxville pushed the envelope and had me constantly laughing, one gag after the other.

My second favourite moment on film came during a Toddler's and Tiara's pageant. That scene, in my opinion, deserves to be called one of the all time funniest moments in the history of cinema. It's rude, it's questionable, and it made me laugh harder than I've ever laughed before. Whenever I hear the song "Cherry Pie," I will forever have that image engraved into my head! Now the moment that had me laughing in tears, and almost fall out of my chair, came when Irving and Billy were eating at a restaurant. Flatulence and incontinence was never a funny form of comedy to me... until I saw this scene. Hands down, the best part of the movie. Everyone in the cinema was roaring with laughter, so I'm not alone when I say that this is one crazy funny movie!

Jackson Nicoll, the cutest child actor since... ever!
With all the silliness and shenanigan's that Irving and Billy get up to, there's also a really nice relationship that builds between them. It's surprising to me that the Jackass boys didn't abuse the storyline they went for, and actually committed to keeping it coherent and funny. Yes, this film is a series of unrelated gags that are tied together by a basic theme. But you know what? All of those gags were damn funny, and the story was funny enough to carry the film. I never expected Bad Grandpa to make me laugh so much. This movie isn't everyone's cup of tea, but to me, it is one of the funniest movies of the decade.

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