In this laboured and queasily tasteless comedy, a heavily made-up Johnny Knoxville plays Irving Zisman, a recently widowed octogenarian with a newly unleashed turbo libido. The plot, which sees Zisman tasked with transporting his young grandson cross-country to hand him over to his deadbeat father, is little more than an excuse to string together a series of one-note, sex-themed set pieces punctuated with the ‘Borat’-lite reactions of understandably bemused (and secretly filmed) bystanders.
The appeal of the ‘Jackass’ TV series – and its three spin-off films – was the narrative-free anarchy of grown men doing unspeakable things to themselves. In ‘Bad Grandpa’, there’s no shock value: the physical comedy is down to a minimum, replaced by a creaking humour almost as dated as Zisman himself. There are a couple of bawdy sight gags that hit the mark, although the outtakes in the end credits provide the film’s funniest moments. The cast and crew appear to have had a ball making it, at least.