Director: Jeff Tremaine
Nominated: Make-up and Hair
I grew up with the Jackass boys and retain a fondness for them. I had grown quite weary of their films however because I thought they had become too extreme and lost some of the more comic elements which made me a fan in the first place, so I wasn’t really sure about this new one. However I did go and see Bad Grandpa with a friend and roared with laughter for the entirety of the film – the whole cinema did. It was hilarious, a return to the comic genius of the stunts from the early years of Jackass and punking the unfortunate American public.
In some way the title is misleading as I was expecting some of the old reliables like Steve-O and Bam to appear but it’s only Johnny Knoxville and the creative team led by Jeff Tremaine. And it’s quite a departure from the old stuff in that there is actually a narrative and story-line to Bad Grandpa. It even manages to tug on your heart-strings on a couple of occasions. That’s not to say that it isn’t hilarious and completely outrageous at the same time because it really is.
Jackson Nicoll, the young actor who plays Billy, Irving’s grandson, is remarkable. he has excellent comedic timing and some serious guts to infiltrate a Little Miss Pageant (those places are pretty scary in their intensity!) And he more than holds his own against Johnny Knoxville’s Bad Grandpa, Irving.
Bad Grandpa is nominated for Make-up and Hair which makes sense as they transform Knoxville into an 86 year-old man. The make-up is fantastic and coupled with Knoxville’s performance you do believe you are watching an old man … if you haven’t seen any of Jackass before. I could still easily recognize Knoxville under all that make-up but then like I say I spent my teenage years enjoying the antics of the Jackass boys. I couldn’t understand how he managed to get away with doing so many outrageous things to the public without anyone recognizing him and then my friend reminded me that Jackass have been pretty dormant since their last film in 2010 and originally targeted quite a niche audience in the first place. And that audience were none of the public involved in the hidden filming of Bad Grandpa.
I loved the inclusion of the Bikers Against Child Abuse because they totally break the stereotypes. You initially think there’s going to be problems when this horde of bikers appear and yet they turn out to be the ones calming down the tensions between Irving and Billy’s wastrel father, all the while keeping their attention fully on Billy and his well-being, both physically and emotionally.
Bad Grandpa was a fun movie, one that I spent most of my time laughing through and thoroughly enjoyed. And having a narrative worked well for the film rather than just a series of stunts.