The Jackass crew takes an oddly gentle approach here, abandoning their more riotous stunt-based movies for a series of undercover pranks, like Borat or Bruno without the social commentary. It's sometimes very funny, although more gags fall flat than hit the mark. But fans will enjoy the interaction between Knoxville and his fearless 8-year-old cohort Nicoll.
Knoxville is in character throughout the film as Irving, an 86-year-old whose wife has just died. At the funeral, his wayward daughter (Cates) turns up to drop off her son Billy (Nicoll) before she goes to prison. So Irving's job is to drive from Nebraska to North Carolina to deliver Billy to his loser dad. On the ensuing road trip the relentlessly mischievous Irving takes advantage of his newly single status to chat up every woman he meets, often with Billy's sharp-witted help. They also get up to all kinds of trouble, robbing a convenience shop, crashing a wedding, upstaging male strippers in a bar and even entering a "little miss" beauty pageant to earn some extra cash.
Whether you find this funny or not depends on your enjoyment of jokes that centre on genitalia, with a particular emphasis on farting. Essentially, the film is a series of elaborately staged set-pieces in which Irving and Billy do outrageous things to get a Candid Camera-style reaction from the general public. And it's often quite funny that people just shrug off things like drinking beer with an 8-year-old or carrying his dead wife's body in the boot of his car. The best sequence involves a gang of burly bikers who dedicate themselves to protecting abused children; watching them close ranks around Billy is actually rather sweet.
But then the whole movie has a gently warm tone to it, as Knoxville and Nicoll never break character and remain eerily believable throughout. Nicoll is a real discovery with impeccable comic timing, and his hilarious dance number at the pageant is the film's show-stopper. Together he and Knoxville create some lively camaraderie that makes us hope they end up together. Just so we can see what they get up to next.
Run time: 92 mins
In Theaters: Friday 25th October 2013
Box Office USA: $102.0M
Box Office Worldwide: $145.9M
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, MTV Films, Dickhouse Productions
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 63 Rotten: 42
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville as Irving Zisman, Jackson Nicoll as Billy, Georgina Cates as Kimmy, Spike Jonze as Gloria, Catherine Keener as Ellie, Kamber Hejlik as Doctor, Jack Polick as Funeral Worker, Grasie Mercedes as Hostess
Also starring: Jeff Tremaine
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