10/29/2013 08:29 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Movie Review: Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa


Back in the days when he was still funny, Jay Leno used to have a routine about why an appreciation for the Three Stooges was a uniquely male phenomenon. It was dead-on.

To that list of gender-specific entertainment geared to men, I'd add the willingness to watch and laugh at movies from the crew of Jackass.

I plead guilty to an abashed fondness for the Jackass movies, which revealed new depth to the kind of childishness hinted at by the Jackass TV show. Part bro sado-bravado, part Candid Camera, part daredevil, often scatological, the Jackass films were grab-bags of outlandish jokes, each more elaborate, painful-looking or stomach-turning than the last.

I went -- and I laughed. I laughed until I choked, as I like to say. I'm not proud of myself, but there it is.

No matter how far I think I'm evolving as a human being, that male chromosome is a resilient character-definer. And so I went to see Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa at a multiplex this past weekend, since the studio incorrectly assumed I'm too highbrow to go to a Jackass screening.

And I laughed. A lot.

I won't for a minute attempt to make an argument for Bad Grandpa as an actual movie which, in a way, it's trying to be. But not really: It's more like the way Borat was an actual movie, telling a story with a fictional character interacting with real people, who don't understand that they've become part of an elaborate movie joke.

The movie part -- the thin tissue of story that holds it together -- is no less substantial than a lot of actual films that follow a similar template.

This review continues on my website.

Subscribe to the Entertainment email.
Home to your favorite fan theories and the best movie recs.