H. L. Mencken once wrote, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.” The Jackass franchise of films have been an example of what Mencken meant, even though their brand of potty humor and raw public pranks have some occasional, and usually tasteless, laughs. There’s one thing about “Bad Grandpa.” It’s the first in the series to actually have a semblance of a storyline.
Johnny Knoxville plays a 86-year-old Grandfather named Irving Zisman. He hits the road with his 8-year-old Grandson, played by Jackson Nicoll. Nicoll proves to be a very capable young comedic actor. Grandpa is taking is Grandson back to his father after Mom was put in jail on a drug beef.
As you might expect, a large variety of “adventures” happen on the trip. They’re much in the same variety as the previous action of the Jackass motion pictures. Part staged with real reactions from onlookers, they grow a little predictable and tiresome.
You might say “Bad Grandpa” is a slight improvement in this brainless chain of raw comedies. But not much.