Maddy’s Movies: “Bad Grandpa” will make you laugh and cry, and then laugh some more

Maddy Mesa

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In “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” not only will your cheeks hurt you’ll be laughing so much, but you may be surprised to find yourself feeling a little emotional.

The movie begins with little Billy (Jackson Nicoll) waiting for his mother in the lounge of an office. He tells the women sitting next to him that his mom is going to jail for drugs, and the laughs begin. Both women are clearly awkward but try their best to comfort the boy.

Meanwhile 86-year-old Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) has just received news his wife has passed away.

“I’m a free man now!” Irving exclaims to the stunned people in the doctors’ office.

From there it’s just one awkwardly funny situation after another as Irving must now drive Billy to his father while his mother goes to jail.

The movie does a wonderful job combining pranks and storyline. There is an actual plot that is so well done I started crying during the more sensitive scenes.

Billy is a persistent little bugger in his stand alone skits. He is fearless going up to strangers and pranking them, saying some of the most absurd and heartbreaking things an eight year old can say.

“Can you be my new dad?” Billy says to a gentleman on his lunch break.

Knoxville is typical Knoxville, being thrown through windows like on the toy ride stunt and flirting with young women in the most inappropriate ways. These two could not have been more perfect working together. They play off each other well in these improv situations.

The reactions are priceless: It’s not all about the stunts and watching Irving hurt himself but seeing bystanders’ genuine reactions whether it be shock, concern or anger. Even though you know it’s a prank, the people in the film don’t, which makes watching this movie’s crazy stunts, pranks and obscene gestures all the funnier.

One thing I’m glad about is that this film does not have the gross factor of previous “Jackass” movies where stunts involved eating something disgusting or being immersed in something gross (port-a-potty slingshot anyone?). There are a few gross scenes, but they’re less graphic than what you would expect from the “Jackass” family.

In a recent conference call with Johnny Knoxville, he says the most surprising thing about the film is how much the audience is “going to be invested in the relationship between me and my grandson.”

Knoxville was right. You forget entirely that these two are just actors looking to prank unsuspecting people and begin to see them as grandpa and grandson. As mentioned before, I got a little teary eyed seeing their relationship grow and some moments where their bond is tested.

Luckily, for those who want to laugh, these moments don’t last long and there is another wild and crazy prank just around the corner.

I give “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” three out of four old-man balls. It is a really well done movie that kept the “Jackass” essence, while being something new entirely. You’ve got to see it.