Nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the 86th Annual Academy Awards
I laughed my ass off. It’s crude, offensive and disgusting…but I knew that going in, and it’s very, very funny. I’ve seen one or two of the other “Jackass” films, and they were hit-or-miss for me. Some of the bits were hilarious, but honestly, there’s only so many times I can watch a dude shoot bottle rockets out of his butt hole. However, director/co-screenwriter Jeff Tremaine came up with a very inventive idea this time(along with his screenwriting team of star Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, etc.). Why not blend the typical Jackass gags with a “Borat”-style narrative and a cross-country road trip? Ta-da! All of a sudden the “Jackass” franchise is fresh again. They’re even sporting an Oscar nomination to prove it!
To give away the hysterical gags would be criminal, so I’ll simply supply a brief rundown. 86 year-old Irving Zisman(forty something Mr. Knoxville, convincingly made-up as an octogenarian by makeup artist, Steve Prouty)has just lost his “beloved” wife, when his white trash daughter Kimmie(Georgina Cates)shows up at the wake to pawn off her son on Irving. Kimmie needs her Dad to transport his grandson, Billy(Jackson Nicoll, perfect)from Nebraska to North Carolina to deposit Billy into the reluctant arms of his deadbeat Dad, Chuck(a wonderfully scummy, Greg Harris). After Irving fails to deter his daughter from giving him this mission, he ushers his grandson into his tank of a four door sedan—and they hit the road. Their riotous adventures had me guffawing from the word go.
The “Jackass” team has worked with this “fake old man” bit before, but in much tinier doses. But, this unlikely pairing of one-foot-in-the-grave curmudgeon and “innocent” eight year-old is uncharted territory as a full feature. Register my surprise at just how fabulous it all works. It even dares to occasionally get tender, before reminding you where you are and churning out a fart joke. Hey, obviously if fake penises, poop on walls and “bodies” tumbling out of caskets isn’t your scene, you should avoid at all costs. But I had a blast. I really did. So, you see, maybe I’m not such a snob after all. And if “Bad Grandpa” actually wins an Oscar, the “Jackass” boys will really have the last laugh. Grade: B+
next review up: “20 Feet from Stardom”