Johnny Knoxville reprises his jackass role as 86-year-old Irving Zisman in the story of a crotchety old man unexpectedly saddled with the care of his 8-year-old grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll). The two generations of troublemakers soon develop a bond, as they hustle their way across the heartland of America on an outrageous road trip with a whole lot of high jinks and pranks on unsuspecting, real-life people, all of whom had no idea they were starring in a "truly shocking" hidden-camera comedy.
While we have been introduced to Irving (Johnny Knoxville) before as a much smaller sketch in previous Jackass instalments its no less fun when we meet him once more, this time in a tale well suited to his many eccentricities as the Jackass crew managed to create situations that Knoxville thrives in, finding many uncomfortably hilarious moments out of the horrific nature of Irving.
The film follows Irving as he is forced by his jail bound daughter to take his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicholl) to his fathers house. What follows is a road trip unlike any you might have seen as 86 year old Irving proceeds to insult, seduce and attack almost everyone he meets for the sake of a cheap laugh. However when he and Billy head out he must try and keep himself in check, something that proves almost impossible for him, and for Billy it turns out as well.
While the film isn’t afraid of a cheap laugh it isn’t afraid to use the films premise to find some hidden emotions as Irving and Billy bond over their long trip across the country. The best part however is how these two bond through their bad habits, their desire to mess with peoples heads as they carry out some truly outrageous stunts and pranks as they go. Billy is oddly the perfect foil for Irving as they both balance and accentuate their many eccentricities.
Knoxville is the master of this kind of comedy and he knows exactly how to manipulate someone to elicit the right response from them, from the uncomfortable to the confrontational as he offends bikers, OAPs, mothers and restaurant owners alike in a very small amount of time. The films feels real because of Knoxville as well as the impressive team of makeup and costume designers who have transformed him into Irving.
Never subtle but equally never boring, Bad Grandpa is hilarious from start to finish and to be honest I’d eagerly await another trip watching these two cause havoc as they go