Numerous times throughout the movie I caught myself bent over laughing but I have to be honest, I did expect more from Bad Grandpa. The trailers make it out to seem very Borat-like in the style of filming but it’s really not. If anything, the filming style of Bad Grandpa more closely relates to Jackass as if the camera crew is following close-by in a van. The forced intermingling of unexpected passerbys with Johnny Knoxville as a senior citizen made for some uniquely hilarious scenes, but, also some dry ones. Their unscripted/scripted approach did not create the desired hilarious ending you would typically expect.
One of the very first scenes shows Irving Zisman (Knoxville) having a strange interaction with a soda machine. It was so funny that the few following succeeding scenes sort of leave you hanging. Scripted movie quality scene followed by scripted hidden camera scene is the basic scene structure of Bad Grandpa. The hidden camera scenes obviously feature people unaware of the movie being filmed. Bad Grandpa follows this back and forth film style throughout the film making for some awkward and dry resolutions.
Any film editor who shows the last scene of a movie in the trailer should not only be fired but also treated like the guys who get caught cheating in the movie Casino. From top to bottom, the entire chain of command responsible for letting that leak should be forced to sit spread eagle and blindfolded while a group of 13 year olds play street hockey. The goals are their crotches if you are not paying attention. My fear was that the scene with the young boy stripping at the beauty pageant would be the grand finale of the movie. And I was fucking right!
Billy, the young kid alongside Johnny Knoxville is played by Jackson Nicoll. I also expected a lot more from the kid throughout the movie, hoping he would steal the show. That did not happen. He does a great job and as the movie goes on, you love him more and more. The final scene, he was amazing but everyone already saw that in the previews. Instead of being shocked and blown away at the end of the film, Bad Grandpa just sort of drifted into a very dull conclusion. Thanks a lot film editors, I hope you accidentally choke on an entire bag of candy canes.
Even though my words and tone behind this post was a tad bit negative, I did love Bad Grandpa. It is hilarious and genius in concept. Knoxville was great as Irving and had some great one-liners throughout the film. If you are wondering if Jackass will follow their typical movie trend and release a Bad Grandpa 1.5, you may be in luck….. There is plenty more film left that has not been released just yet.
By: Pat Hanavan