Posted on 10/25/13 01:45 PM
"I'm gonna call you Cinnamon".
I'm sure many remember 'Jackass' fondly even with its relatively short lived appearance on TV. I don't i never really cared for it, on occasion it worked but mostly it was just people inflicted absurd pain on each other. Not my idea of funny, it was firmly set in the skater audience. So you might ask 'Why the hell did you bother watching this then?' Well that's because it didn't appear to be full of dick's being dicks - which it isn't.
'Bad Grandpa' is essentially a canded camera kind of film. 'Unsuspecting' people creating real reactions from Johnny Knoxsville's silly and sexually aggressive 'Grandpa'. It's not always easy to tell how real these reactions are and whether or not they're just actors. It claims to address this at the end (which i believe to be true) but still there's always that chance of being fooled twice. Believe it or not there is actually a story albeit a loose one. 'Irving Zisman' (Knoxville) has his grandson 'Billy' (Jackson Nicoll) thrust upon on him after his druggy daughter is sent to prison. And the film revolves around their road-trip to drop him off at 'Billy's dead beat dad. It's actually even more loose than describing it - which is odd. The story doesn't matter it's suppose to be about the comedy and ludicrous hi-jinks. But there's a feeble attempt at emotion and a bond between the two that just creates eye-rolling. I have no idea why this part was put in, is it a story? or is it suppose to be about this 'Bad Grandpa'?. There's confusion when this comes up, its unnecessary.
The humour is very much dependent on whether shock value is your thing. Which is why its not one that should be viewed on reviews. Something true of all films but resonates particularly strongly hear because of the real reactions. It's not something i'm fond of but it can get laughs out of me. That was the problem for me personally, it was always going to be difficult to keep it consistently good. Which is why there was no chance of it being just ok. Most of it has been done before by similar type TV shows, the funeral, bingo hall etc.. But just taken to slightly more extremes although the Bingo hall was pretty funny. It's a very much up and down film because it hinges on the build up and reactions rather than what's happening. Which is why the pageant was by far the best scene had the rest been as good we'd be looking at the complete opposite end of the scale.
Acting-wise its fine 'Knoxville' pulls of 'Irving' wonderfully. He certainly comes off as a sex crazed old man and with an actual believability. The kid 'Nicoll' does just as well and delivers his lines without a mutter of laughter - completely straight faced. There are other players in on it as well 'Spike Jonze' players the dead women (i have no idea why she's dead) and Irving's daughter and Billy's dad are too - because well they have to be.
Opinion is applied to every film but i feel this is even more true here. It's a very specific set of people that like this adn they will more than likely like this. So all i can really say is its not too my tastes, i wanted it to be good and at times it was in fact even great. For me it was just hit and miss mostly miss and the baffling attempt at emotion towards the end leaves the film confused.