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October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, 42-year-old Johnny Knoxville plays an 86-year-old grandfather traveling across the country with his 8-year-old grandson played by Jackson Nicoll. So it’s not exactly another “Jackass” movie, since it does have something of a plot. But the Candid Camera-like set-ups (albeit usually far more gross than anything Alan Funt ever contrived) still prevail. “The weird-sounding mix of scripted narrative and found footage works better than it seems it might,” writes Neil Genzlinger in the New York Times. That’s pretty much the prevailing opinion of most critics. Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times seems rather shocked that the film “has a story complete with a beginning, middle and end. It has some acting and emotion. And — most shocking of all — it has empathy.” Indeed, several critics have hailed it as one of the funniest comedies of the year, if not the funniest. For example, Scott Bowles in USA Today writes, “Rude, wrong and laugh-till-you-snort funny, [it] not only stands as the best installment (by bounds) of Johnny Knoxville’s hidden-camera franchise; it’s one of the sharpest comedies of the year.” And Peter Hartlaub in the San Francisco Chronicle concludes: “The uneven result is definitely not for prudish moviegoers, definitely funny for everyone else, and even approaches poignancy in one or two scenes.” But Kyle Smith in the New York Post, noting that five professional writers came up with the ideas for Bad Grandpa, remarks: “Fellas: You could have saved a lot of money by asking some fifth-graders to name the funniest things they could imagine.” And while Michael O’Sullivan in the Washington Post concedes, “Yes I laughed,” he quickly explains, “That is to say, the 13-year-old-boy who lives inside me — and who sometimes comes out, despite my best efforts to shackle him in the attic of my psyche, where he is denied food and water — laughed.”