The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

‘Bad Grandpa’ outrageous


While we’re taught at childhood to ‘respect our elders,’ what if the elders in question are outright pricks? What if, that instead of taking their grandchildren fishing, they would much rather hit-up the nearest strip club instead?

That’s the premise to the latest “Jackass” film, “Bad Grandpa,” as we follow 86-year-old Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) as he travels across the country to reunite his grandson Billy with his white trash father in North Carolina.

Taking a similar path first paved by Sacha Baron Cohen with films like “Borat” and “Brüno,” Knoxville and regular “Jackass” director Jeff Tremaine follow the loose storyline of a grandpa / grandson bonding film, while splicing in hidden camera mischief at every stop along the way. 

The pranks don’t always necessarily match with the story, but the movie’s demographic isn’t looking for “Citizen Kane,” they’re looking to laugh their asses off. And laugh them off they will.

The film opens with Irving receiving news at the hospital that his wife has passed, causing him immense joy because now he can get back to hooking up with every floozy he can find.

Meanwhile, Billy (Jackson Nicoll) is about to be dumped with his grandpa after his druggie mother finds out she’s going back to jail after violating her parole.

Irving doesn’t want to be the one to reunite Billy with his father in North Carolina, for he wants to live life to the fullest before shuffling off this mortal coil. In his eyes his grandson is a cockblocker, and is going to prevent him from his horn-dogging ways.

Compared to the first three “Jackass” films, “Bad Grandpa” is slightly more conservative with the gross-out factor usually associated with that crew. 

However, that does not make it any less of a film, for some of the situations Irving and Billy get themselves into are hilarious and downright kooky, garnering some fantastic reactions from the innocent bystanders.

Many of the stunts are highlighted in the movie’s trailer, but unlike a majority of trailers nowadays, not all the outrageous parts are given away.

There’s flying through a glass window on a child’s rocket ride, crashing a wedding and even participating in a beauty pageant, but some of the situations that aren’t shown are definitely worth the price of the movie ticket.

The genius of seeing what one can get away with while pretending to be an old man is nothing new for Knoxville, for he’s donned the grandfather prosthetics before in the previous “Jackass” films.

It took Knoxville three hours every day to apply the prosthetics, and an additional two hours for scenes where he was shirtless.

Sure enough, he shows that sometimes old people are given a free pass in certain situations, because if anything the people being pranked feel sorry for said elderly person. 

That, and no matter how annoying an old person might be, chances are they aren’t going to get punched by an agitated person in public.

Nicoll does a great job playing Billy, for while Irving is the star of the movie, Nicoll has fun getting away with rude questions while maintaining that innocent child persona.

Whether he memorized certain responses or was directed through an earpiece, Nicoll brought the laughs when drinking with his grandpa out in public and deciding on a stripper name for an adult bookstore employee (he decided she was more of a ‘Cinnamon’).

With finals right around the corner, many students are feeling a bit stressed already with the workload.

The perfect solution for this stress is 92-minutes of Johnny Knoxville terrorizing bingo parlors and strip clubs while in old man make-up.

After raking in $32 million at the box office its opening weekend, it’s apparent that audiences were looking for some much needed laughter.

Don’t take your own grandfather to see this movie though: you might give him some ideas.

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