For years now the Jackass crew has been delivering the goods with their crazy antics and over the top stunts. Throughout their TV series and 3 feature films they have created numerous ongoing characters to go along with their raunchy gags including Irving Zisman played by Johnny Knoxville. Now he is stepping out of Jackass and getting his own film, but does it still pack the punch or has this crew finally lost their edge?
Bad Grandpa follows Irving and his grandson Billy as they travel across country to get him to his dad, wreaking all sorts of antics along the way. For the first time Knoxville has stepped away from the rest of the gang to not only deliver more of their usual shenanigans, but twist it around an actual storyline. Surprisingly it works really well thanks to some clever editing together blending the story elements, but still keeping the raunchy gags coming. Knoxville is better than ever in this film, but seems to have toned it down a little bit. At first it seems off, but as it moves forward it makes more sense and works a lot better for the format they are going for. Jackson Nicoll who plays Billy is awesome standing out on his own as both cute and able to execute these jokes like a champ. Knoxville and Nicoll have great chemistry and are clearly having a great time here and thankfully brings the audience on for the ride. At first the film feels a bit forced, but quickly brings it full circle delivering all the laughs and gross out moments that fans of the Jackass class have come to love.
While the rest of the cast are absent this time around Knoxville and Nicoll are able to still deliver a fun new direction in the Jackass series. Sure this isn’t quite out there as some of their past films, but it’s definitely breath’s new life into the genre and hopefully will not be the last we see of Irving & Billy and maybe this could be the beginning of a franchise of some of the other characters we love.