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It’s too bad the money shot for this scene was already shown in the first trailer for Paramount Pictures’ upcoming comedy Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, because it’s a pretty great little moment. It’s no surprise that adults and children bickering with each other draws instant attention from anyone standing around, even if they’re pretending not to listen. And so when Grandpa Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) actually sits inside the broken coin-op ride that his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicholl) keeps complaining is broken, it is with excellent timing that the ride itself launches up and through the store’s front window frightening everyone around it. Great stuff.
Like many things I write about on this website, the Jackass franchise doesn’t do it for me. I can sit down and watch something like Jackass 3-D if somebody else puts it on, and I’ll laugh in all of the appropriate areas, but it’s not uproarious laughter, and it isn’t something I’d ever seek out on my own. Bad Grandpa sort of gets my vote of approval because Knoxville and director/co-screenwriter actually affixed a narrative to all the self-injuring depravity. They’re working the whole “no one around us knows what we’re doing” angle, so hopefully it’ll work as something of a cross between one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character features and a Super Dave Osborne special. That’s what the above clip reminded me of the most, even though no one knew it was supposed to be a stunt. I think I just miss Super Dave a lot.
In the film, Knoxville revives his Zisman character for a road trip comedy unlike any other, it seems. Because his mom is in jail, Billy needs to go across the country to his dad’s house, and Grandpa is the one to bring him. Along the way they wreck a children’s beauty pageant, a funeral, a biker bar and more. I guess it’s easier not to have someone want to beat your face in if you have a kid around. Unless they also want to beat the kid’s face in. That’s when it’s good to have a phone around.
So whereas I was halfway dreading this movie whenever it was announced, I’m actually going to go into this with an open mind. Though by “this,” I don’t mean a movie theater, as I’ll be waiting for cable. But if you’re interested in catching all the sloppy shenanigans on the big screen, it opens nationwide on October 25. Watch the full-length trailer below.