** and 1/2 out of ****
In Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Johnny Knoxville returns to a popular character he made famous in skits/stunts from the "Jackass" TV show and movies. In convincing old age prosthetic make-up, Knoxville plays Irving Zisman, an ornery and profane elderly man who shouldn't be allowed to have a child in his charge. Here, in this movie, there is a rudimentary plot about the old guy having to transport his young grandson (Jackson Nicoll) cross country to the child's deadbeat father. Really, it's just an excuse for Candid Camera-style gags with real, unsuspecting people looking on and reacting to Knoxville's antics.
This is barely a real movie, as many of the set-up stunts have absolutely no baring on the actual story thrust, and the gags usually end abruptly with no ramifications for the main character. But is any of this funny? Often, it is. The scene that literally had tears streaming down my face is what happens when a gas-passing contest between grandpa and grandson in a crowded diner escalates to the next level. It was an unexpected moment, to say the least.
Clearly, Bad Grandpa isn't great art, but it does what it sets out to do, and that is to amuse in shocking ways.