Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: ‘Bad Grandpa’ shows ‘Jackass’ still spry

Scott Foundas, Variety

LOS ANGELES — If the “Jackass” movies have always spit exuberantly in the face of age and mortality, it’s fitting that co-creators Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Jeff Tremaine have now given us one devoted to Knoxville’s octogenarian alter ego, Irving Zisman. Strangely touching, too, given that the “Jackass” boys are all in their 40s now and still throwing caution to the wind.

Strapping a loose narrative framework onto the series’ patented stunts and candid-camera gags, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” shows there’s still comic life in this decade-old franchise — provided, of course, the sight of a senior citizen getting his penis caught in a vending machine is the kind of thing that brings a smile to your face.

Originally introduced during the final season of “Jackass” on MTV, the Zisman character has been a mainstay ever since, sometimes paired with Jonze’s nonagenarian prostitute character Gloria for maximum elder-care chaos. In “Bad Grandpa,” Irving’s family is fleshed out to include a crack-addict daughter (Georgina Kates), who, on the verge of returning to prison, tasks Irving with transporting his 8-year-old grandson (Jackson Nicoll) to the boy’s deadbeat father (Greg Harris) in North Carolina.

That’s the “plot” as far as it goes, which is really just a device for putting Knoxville and the cherubic, foul-mouthed Nicoll (“The Fighter”) in a car together and letting them wreak their inspired havoc across state lines. A couple of the movie’s best and most outrageous payoffs come right up front, when Irving enlists a couple of unwitting furniture movers to help him load the corpse of the late Mrs. Zisman (Catherine Keener) into his car, then tries to circumvent the road trip by simply UPS-ing little Billy all the way to Raleigh.

The m.o. of “Jackass” has always been the comedy of physical pain — a “Three Stooges” for the X-Games era — married to a kind of anarchic street theater. Knoxville and company delight at finding ways to make life veer off its neatly ordered path and in capturing the flummoxed reactions of those who bear witness. Here, they take an added glee in playing off social mores concerning children and the elderly — how they should be treated, and when they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions (as when Irving and Billy eat their way through a mini-mart, then make a run for it).

Even with Knoxville buried under layers of latex, his willingness to do anything for a laugh is a gift that keeps on giving, whether he’s getting smashed between the jaws of a spring-loaded adjustable bed or hurled through a plate-glass window by a malfunctioning strip-mall kiddie ride. But the most talked-about sequence from “Bad Grandpa” seems likely to be Irving’s impromptu bootie shaking (complete with low-hanging elastic scrotum) on the floor of an all-black male strip club.

“Bad Grandpa” isn’t as sustained a piece of work as the earlier “Jackass” pics, and it can even seem tame in light of the more outrageous bits in “Borat” and “Bruno” — perhaps a sign that Knoxville et al. are ever so slightly maturing. Too much of the film gets bogged down in Irving making lewd passes at uninterested younger women (and one possibly interested drive-thru attendant), but even at its low ebb, the movie effuses an infectious, mischief-making joy.

After spending most of the movie as the relative straight man, Nicoll proves himself every bit as fearless as his battle-scarred mentor during a drag-kiddie-pageant finale that’s like tobacco juice in the eye of “Little Miss Sunshine.”

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” a Paramount release presented with MTV Films, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.” Running time: 91 minutes.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Supervisor candidates file conflict-of-interest forms

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Trial begins for teacher accused of abusing children

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Suisun police ID shooting victim

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Solano Jews gather for start of Passover

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
County discusses consolidated dispatch

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Miner Slough Bridge to see repairs

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
‘Heaven is for Real’ opens Wednesday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B5

 
Fiesta Days pageant organizers seek contestants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Easter hunt set for Mare Island

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Crews make quick work of vehicle fire

By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Paper Clover Campaign supports Solano County 4-H

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Coakley joins Solano fair board

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Hundreds flock to Krispy Kreme as it opens doors

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
County to honor Solano educators

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

Officials: Huge San Francisco blaze was accidental

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Shrimp Boy’ pleads not guilty in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ukraine: Military secures airport from attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Democrats have outside money advantage – for now

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
First women move into Army platoon artillery jobs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Final deadline arrives for health exchange sign-up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
New LA newspaper embraces print in digital world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Congress is giving states the transportation blues

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Police: Suspects in killings wore GPS devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Robot sub returns to water after 1st try cut short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Hamas praises deadly West Bank shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
2 dead after ferry sinks off SKorean coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

.

Opinion

 
Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page: A13, 12 Comments

Poor Judgement in Flight 370 column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Senseless babble that hurts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13

 
Expand Red Top Road

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Editorial cartoons for April 16, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 16, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What love gives you

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for April 16, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
A matzo ball soup fit for a weeknight dinner

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
Sweet pairings for grown-up Easter treats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

My husband still pays his 45-year-old unemployed son’s bills

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes for April 16, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Boston Globe wins Pulitzer for bombing coverage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Lindsay Lohan’s mom pleads guilty to DWI in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Strahan’s ‘GMA’ side job confirmed with his visit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Cal hires Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin as coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to move on without Andrew Bogut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks’ Torres uncertain for playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Indians shut out Mustangs

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Ex-Minnesota State, Mankato coach returning to job

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

More former players sue NHL regarding concussions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to 1-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Yellen signals more aggressive stance toward banks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Carolyn McClelland

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Evonne Medina

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7