13th Jul2014

‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5’ VOD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Greg Harris, Georgina Cates, Kamber Hejlik, Jill Kill, Spike Jonze, Catherine Keener | Written by Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville | Directed by Jeff Tremaine


One thing I wondered when watching Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa was how many of the “real” people were actually planted, call me cynical but it is something that you can’t help but think, especially when the joke seems to go a little too far.  Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 answers this question by not only revealing some of the scenes that never made it to the movie but also giving a glimpse behind the scenes of the film.

When I started to watch Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 I expected to be watching the film again but with the added scenes, but this is not what you get.  This is more of a documentary looking at the making of the film and what it takes to create scenes that feature the public and the spontaneity that this can provide.  It’s nice to see that the makers of the movie do have some respect for the people they are pranking and do know when it goes too far, but there is that feeling that sometimes they are goading a few into violence.  It’s interesting to see that sometimes Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the crew get a surprise and the target of their jokes actually give them just a little bit of real life gold and steal the scenes they are in.  Seeing Knoxville as Irving Zisman getting told off and made to behave himself while planning out a funeral is a classic moment that should have made it into the movie, even though it didn’t just seeing him instantly becoming a sheepish naughty school child is one of the funniest moments I’ve seen Zisman in.

In Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa we are introduced to Zisman’s wife as a corpse, the original plan though was to actually have a few scenes with her alive to set up her character.  This was to be Catherine Keener and seeing the scenes she took part in are interesting, but you can see why they didn’t make the cut.  They did set up the character and Keener was very good in them but for time-saving there is a feeling that these scenes would be easiest to remove just so the film didn’t drag the tempo down too much.

Funnier though are the clips of Spike Jonze as Gloria a love interest for Zisman.  Jonze’s love of pushing Knoxville to his limits give Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 some of its funniest moments and I do feel it’s a shame that some of these didn’t make the cut.  One example of this is a set up where Gloria meets “dates” and Irving turns up and attempts to steals her off them.  The fact that these were real people contacted through Craigslist provided interesting characters both good and bad.  It also leads to some uncomfortable moments, especially when Jonze talks to one of them on the phone to entice them to show up.  The result is a conversation on the phone with a man who wanted Gloria to dominate him.  This led to a creepy experience where the man appears to be doing more than just talking, Jonze’s reaction and sudden need to hang up is very funny.

It is fair to say that Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 is aimed at people who have already seen the main film, but you can watch it without having seen it as many of he pranks aren’t actually features in the main feature.  There are a few scenes that are looked at in-depth and even extended but they don’t reveal enough of the plot to be considered a spoiler.

I enjoyed Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 as a look behind the scenes of the main movie.  The chance to look at some scenes that didn’t make the cut is interesting and showing the audience where things can go wrong adds to the dynamic feel of the process of making a film like Bad Grandpa.  Showing the nicer side of the production and how the public became a part of the film and provided a little magic that the production team never saw coming is nice to see, even if they didn’t make it onto the main feature.

**** 4/5

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 will be available to download or stream from July 14th at digital stores including Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Google Play, iTunes, Sony Entertainment Network, VUDU and Xbox Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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