Wal-Mart sells the damndest things.

Theatrical Release Date: 10/25/2013
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Georgina Cates, Spike Jonze
Rated: R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes


Wheelchairs can be expensive.

As a fan of the Jackass movies, the idea of taking Johnny Knoxville’s character of Irving Zisman and creating an entire movie around him piqued my curiosity. It also raised a bit of a red flag because part of what makes watching these guys so entertaining is that the comedy comes in quick bursts and if there ever is a lag or something a bit too gross for one’s taste, something different is coming in just another minute.

What people should know ahead of time about Bad Grandpa is that rather than being simply a series of pranks, there’s a loose story tying it all together. Zisman has recently lost his wife. His daughter is headed to jail and needs Grandpa to take her son (Jackson Nicoll) to live with the deadbeat baby daddy. The road trip provides them with a chance to bond … and create havoc as well of course.

Despite the framework of the movie, the core sensibilities of what makes Jackass fun are still there. Each stop along the way is met with Grandpa and young Billy doing something completely outrageous and hilarious while real and unsuspecting people end up their comedic casualties. Of course, some of that humor lands squarely on the other side of appropriateness but if you can’t handle that, you were never a Jackass fan.

Knoxville and Nicoll share a decent chemistry and it’s evident the veteran prankster enjoyed having a partner in crime that allowed a lot of leeway for how much he could get away with in relation to the average person. Nicoll must have has a blast being allowed to do practically anything he wanted and seemed rather fearless, even when obviously taking direction from someone else.

Saying much more would be pointless. You either enjoy Knoxville and his crew’s shenanigans or you don’t. I happen to find great joy in their tomfoolery and so this was a welcome hour and a half of laughs. I also enjoy the words “shenanigans” and “tomfoolery” so writing this review served two purposes. And if you do pop into the theater to see Bad Grandpa, don’t get up when the movie ends, there’s a ton of behind the scenes footage that run over the credits.

3.5 out of 5