I suppose we have Sacha Baron Cohen to thank for this - the Jackass crew are attempting to go legit by making a feature film that actually features a story line (Insert gasp here). Irving Zismen (Johnny Knoxville) has just lost his wife of 46 years, Ellie (Catherine Keener). Excited by his new-found freedom, Irving is suddenly saddled with his 8-year-old grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll) at the disastrous funeral, when his drug addict daughter announces she’s headed back to prison. Now Irving has to drive Billy cross country to dump him with his deadbeat dad. And they’re off...
With a wealth of hidden cameras installed at a plethora of set-ups including restaurants, supermarkets, motels, the car and even a beauty pageant, poor unsuspecting schmucks are subject to the stars' antics, left to simply look on in horror and clutch their pearls (should they be wearing any).
Maybe we’re becoming desensitised to this kind of thing or apathy really is the plague of the 21st century, but the public just aren’t as shocked as they used to be, preferring to either walk away, laugh or whip out their camera phone instead - this would explain why even Baron Cohen is taking on more acting gigs these days.
Most gags just seem too laboured, each one coming to an end all too quickly with the public players just not giving anything, and the actors fast running out of material. There are a few choice golden nuggets of comedy (including a scene at a male strip club and a little Miss beauty pageant), but overall, 'Bad Grandpa' falls shy of any expectations.