Interview-Review: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013): A Candid Camera Film: From The Guys Who Brought You Jackass

1) What is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa about?
That’s a silly title right? Well, basically it’s Johnny Knoxville in a lot of makeup (so much makeup it got them an Oscar nomination) doing what he does best: Playing a series of practical jokes on random strangers, trying to be outrageous, pulling crazy stunts, making people and just having a lot of fun goofing around. There is a loose story set around all the gags, about a grandpa having to drive his grandson to his father, but the narrative only serves as a frame and it’s not really what you take away from the film. 

2) What do you take away from a film like Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa? I actually love the title, so fuck you.
Wow, okay… What I liked about ‘Bad Grandpa’ is of course that they’re having fun and it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. Some of the gags and jokes are really funny, like laugh out loud funny. There’s some interesting filmmaking aspects to it too, the way they filmed this, some of the static shots are very beautiful. Johnny Knoxville is fairly good at playing an old man. The makeup is great, obviously. It’s a fairly entertaining film.

There’s also some social commentary, I don’t know how intentional, but it’s remarkable to note nonetheless. What does this film say about how we perceive elderly people? Usually, we’re told to respect older folks. Sometimes you instinctively think “Well, they’re going to beat him up”, but of course nobody’s going to fight an old man. He can get away with a lot, I’m sure if he didn’t have all that makeup on he would have gotten in a couple fights.

3) What did you dislike about Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa?
My biggest problem was that it doesn’t really feel like a movie. It’s more of a candid camera show. I think Jackass works best on TV. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jackass, I just don’t think that cinema is the right format for it. Even if they tried to have a story it still felt very “episodic” and the story was actually kind of boring and slowed down the film considerably. Also, I didn’t think all the jokes worked. Sometimes it felt as if they were more shocked about their own gags than the real people witnessing them.

I don’t like it when a film tries too hard to be controversial or “shocking”. Sometimes it feels that ‘Bad Grandpa‘ is just vulgar and “offensive” for the sake of being vulgar and “offensive”.

Why the “air quotes”?
Well, because I’m not sure I want to give them the satisfaction of actually acknowledging that they’re shocking and offensive. Although if those things even came to mind I must admit that they are a little bit.

4) How pretentious, but why am I not surprised? Anyway: Who would you recommend this film to?
If you like Jackass and candid camera shows or just similar movies like the ones Sasha Baron Cohen does I guess you’ll enjoy ‘Bad Grandpa’. Also, if you aren’t bothered by the fact that this should be a TV show and not a film and just want to have a good laugh, there’s something for you here. It’s not a very “intellectual” film, so if you’re in the mood for something light that you can turn off your brain to, this is perfect.

5) I wish you turned off your brain and never turn it on ever again… Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any random thought on your mind?
Wait a second. Why all the hostility? I’m not criticizing you, I’m just trying to answer your questions as honest and true to myself as I can.

Well okay then. My closing thoughts: I watched ‘Bad Grandpa’ because it was written and produced by Spike Jonze. Jonze is one of my favorite directors. Her was one of the best films of 2013 and he got five nominations for it and then it was so perfect that he was nominated for this film as well. The two movies couldn’t be more different from each other, but I think that’s also what make Spike Jonze a genius and a very cool and down to earth person. The fact that he can be involved in something as touching and personal and “serious” as Her and then a diametral opposite in ‘Bad Grandpa’, just makes me love the man even more.

I’m sure that’s so gay.

Hello? Hello? Hello?! He just hung up on me…

6 out of 10


  1. literaryvittles

    hahaha i love the snarky side of you that comes out in these Q&A reviews! Your imaginary interviewer is really hostile.

    Can’t believe this was directed by Spike Jonze! Oh well. I’ll skip this and watch “Her” instead.

    P.S. As I predicted on your Oscars Nomination post, I watched “Wolf of Wall Street” and hated it.

    • davideperretta

      😀 Thanks, I love doing them! It always ends up with me getting insulted and the interviewer having the exact opposite opinion on the film 🙂

      BTW ‘Bad Grandpa is not directed by Jonze, he just co-wrote it and produced it, which is still quite surprising.

      Aww, too bad, why did you hate ‘Wolf’? (I haven’t seen it yet unfortunately..)

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