After the death of his wife, 86 year old Irving Zisman is ready to enjoy life as a single widower. But before he has a chance to dive back into the dating scene, his jail bound daughter drops off Irving's grandson (Billy), tasking Irving with an unexpected and unwanted amount of responsibility. Having survived 40 years in a broken marriage, Irving embarks on a road trip to pass Billy off to his deadbeat son in law. With limited funds and lots of time together, Irving and Billy find common ground, while finding ridiculous ways to prank, shock, and horrify folks along the way.
Starring Johnny Knoxville (Irving) and Jackson Nicoll (Billy), "Bad Grandpa"masterfully combines scripted plot lines with real world reactions. Throughout the film, Knoxville's makeup and persona are thoroughly believable. No doubt, with the cooperation of local merchants and law enforcement, the majority of the film was staged in real locations, interacting with people unaware that they were being filmed and that they were being pranked by actors in character. In some cases, this made the reactions of bystanders more interesting, funny, inspiring, or just disturbing. In particular, Irving and Billy visit a juvenile beauty pageant, where one can only hope that the people involved, realize how disturbing what they do to their kids in the name of competition is practically criminal. Surprisingly sentimental and outlandish, "Bad Grandpa" and its shockumentary style of storytelling are well worth your time and the price of admission.