Netflix UK film review: Bad Grandpa .5
Behind the scenes7
James Butlin | On 18, Jul 2014
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Catherine Keener
Watch Bad Grandpa .5 online in the UK: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV / iTunes
Last year, the first “proper” Jackass film was released: Bad Grandpa, a sprawling, slapstick, narrative-driven prank that produced mixed results. Johnny Knoxville brought his character Irving Zisman to a full-length feature alongside his “grandson”, as they travelled across America getting up to all kinds of hijinks with the usual classic Jackass hidden camera tricks. It was a series of sketches tied together by a loose thread both helped and hindered by the need to make sense.
Bad Grandpa .5 is a mix of outtakes, extra scenes and making-of interviews cut together to create an extra film in itself. The ability to take away the narrative actually makes for a better viewing experience and re-introduces some of the camaraderie and fraternal aspects that have always made Jackass films – and the television shows – so enjoyable. It never manages to bring itself back to the enjoyment of what the original gang provided but it brings enough back.
Where the Jackass’ .5 additions to the film series work so well are by providing so much extra footage; they feel like real additions. They contain extra sketches, longer cuts and never feel like they are re-treading too many boards.The behind-the-scenes interviews give a fair bit of insight; one particular highlight is the difficulty of keeping the hidden cameras, well, hidden. They create elaborate hideaways in dustbins, portaloos and shopping trolleys just to get the best shots possible and keep up the illusion of a real event.
This .5 entry is like a straight-up making-of film, no different to any DVD special feature, only made feature-length. That isn’t to say that the making-of this film isn’t interesting, it just doesn’t feel worth providing as a film in and of itself.
Overall, the extra pieces do provide something different to – and, in some aspects, funnier than – the first outing, but Bad Grandpa .5 can only ever be viewed as a side dish to Bad Grandpa 0.0. To their credit, though, both only ever fall flat when compared against the original Jackass films.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 0.5 is now on Netflix UK.