Monday, 20 January 2014

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)

So this idea still hasn't burned out it seems, the now highly dated secret camera footage clip movie concept thingy. Oh man back in the day Jackass was admittedly fresh and at times very amusing if more awkward and embarrassing. These days the whole thing is somewhat stale but there can be the odd moment of squirm inducing humiliation that forces you to blush uncontrollably whilst watching.

The 'plot' sees grandpa Knoxville taking care of his grandson whilst trying to deliver him to his real father because the kids mother is off to jail. This inevitably creates one setup sketch after another as the old man and young kid make their way to North Carolina. Of course this being Jackass all these setups are real time hidden camera gags where the general public are unaware of the film being made.

The big question is how many of these people were actually aware of the film crew? well it does seem pretty genuine throughout no doubt. There are a few spots where I couldn't help but think someone caught on but its not overly important. The fun parts are seeing the reactions from people when things happen, much like Sacha Baron Cohen's antics its like a car crash and you just can't look away (Although Cohen is more clever and more in depth with his verbal assaults and risky actions, Jackass is more of a dumbed down cartoony comicbook approach).

Problem is everything is pretty average in terms of shock or ideas. Most of the scenes raise a slight giggle but none of it is hilarious by any means. Knoxville is an 80 year old man so you can guess the type of old man jokes and pratfalls you will see, its not brain surgery. So stereotypical elderly people gags aside there are one or two more amusing bits. The male stripper club/bar which appeared to be for black people mainly was quite embarrassing, the old hanging testicles gag was reasonable but it was just the whole touchy PC factor of it...racially, sexually and age wise. The top three hot potato topics.

Next to that was the rather odd all American biker gang called  'Guardians of the Children' which seemed kinda weird really, Lots of fat hairy men in black leather with tattoos looking out for young kids?. You gotta have a biker gang bit when travelling across the US don't you, I liked the predictable crash into their hogs at the end. There was also a very brief and again predictable wedding crasher sequence involving a heavily laden table. But the most amusing and shocking sequence was the all American little girl beauty pageant which truly exposes the grotesque, dare I say paedophile-esque activities of some people. Not only does Knoxville and the young Nicoll mock the event but they lampoon it in a way which most normal people see that kind of competition, by insinuating that these over pampered girly tots will become spoilt emotionless princesses or straight up strippers bordering on whores.

So the odd hint of a good laugh can't really save the film from being a bit flat. Its not particularly shocking or outrageous, I guess the worst bit there was Knoxville getting his old man todger stuck in a drinks vending machine. I prefer it over the old Jackass with their disgusting toilet humour and accidents/injuries which could really make you gag, but at the same time this just feels too much like a cheesy half hour TV show ('You've Been Framed' or international equivalent). The gags fire by quite quickly too, trying to cram in as much as possible clearly. Believe it or not, yet again, the rather predictable finale between Knoxville and Nicoll does show some half decent emotion and empathy, its brisk corny and clearly done to ignite the regular folk within the scene (the bikers), but it does work on a simple level.

The final credits showing behind the scenes moments within the film and a bit of extra footage is actually pretty good. Its nice to watch real peoples reactions when they discover it was all a prank scene in a movie. Must actually be a nice thing to discover if you think about it, unless you haven't said or done anything silly of course.