j a c k a s s p r e s e n t s : b a d g r a n d p a
23rd October 2013
24th October 2013
We’re not snobs here. We very much subscribe to the old Homer Simpson adage (even if we can’t remember if it was he who said this) that no matter how intelligent and cutting your bang on satire is, nothing is anywhere near as funny as a man getting a football in the groin. It’s making me laugh now, just thinking about it.
So it was with much grinning that we ditched all the sophistication and red-carpet shenanigans of the 2013 LFF and headed to our good old multiplex to catch Jackass’ return to the big screen with Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (to give it its full title). Just on the multiplex note, I’m quite a fan of Cineworld. It does the simple things right. I can book my ticket without having to talk to the popcorn and nachos guy and the seats are comfortable. On this occasion though, what were you doing with the lighting Cineworld??? I appreciate a projectionist only has to load a cartridge and press a button now but please ask them to just check through the window once they’ve done it. Thanks.
On to the movie and I’m happy to report that this does everything you want it to do. We pick up with Irvine Zisman (Knoxville under a prodigious amount of prosthetic) as he receives the news of his wife’s passing. At the hilariously stranger-attended funeral, he gets lumbered with his grandson Billy (an utterly superb Jackson Nicoll) when his mother flees her parole violation. The pair must trek across the South to delivery Billy to his wholly unsuitable father. Thus a road trip is laid out that sees Zisman ‘chase tail’ and perform possibly the worst strip tease in recent memory. And probably future memory to be honest, I’m not going to be able to un-see that for a loooong time.
The plot is waiter thin and at times threatens to upend the Jackass dynamic (do we really need an attempt at a <gasp> story in a Jackass film?) but the movie gets away with it because it just ladles on the, generally crude, gags. Knoxville’s natural charisma shines through the prosthetic and you can just about see why he gets away with it with the largely ‘real life’ spectators. I say largely because I don’t for a second buy, for example, that the couple at the wedding crashed by Irvine and Billy weren’t in on the act but the majority of the onlookers are real people and their reactions form an essential part of the schtick. The revelation here is Jackson Nicoll. The kid is just brilliant. Able to pull off cute at the same time as branding a shop worker a stripper and naming her Cinnamon, he looks like a Disney kid but comes across as a Knoxville in the making. It’s a genuinely impressive performance.
I won’t go through the gags here as the funniest ones are the ones you didn’t see in the trailer, as ever with Jackass, the key is shock value. This isn’t anywhere near as funny as the original Jackass film (though Knoxville does have another hilarious pop at golfers in this one), that boat has well and truly sailed by now, but it does enough to string together a series of pretty damn funny set-pieces. It’s very rare that I board a tube after a movie and spontaneously burst our laughing because I was thinking about a moment in a film but this happened here.
You pretty much know what you’re buying your ticket for with a Jackass movie and this one won’t convert any naysayers so all you need to know from me is this: is Bad Grandpa a good Jackass film? Yes, yes it is. It is funny throughout, downright stomach-achingly hilarious in at least three places and even though the last section is largely pillaged from Little Miss Sunshine, you will still leave the cinema grinning from ear to ear and maybe even getting some pretty odd looks on the way home. If the idea of the sight of Knoxville, loping through town with one, very saggy ball swinging from his y-fronts makes you scowl though, probably one to swerve.
Check out the trailer here.