* (out of four)
The funniest thing about “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” is that its old-man makeup job surpasses similar work in “legitimate” movies like “Cloud Atlas” and “J. Edgar.” In “Grandpa,” Johnny Knoxville looks passably like an 86-year-old man. How about that.
Otherwise, this moron-a-thon succeeds in being dumber than the occasionally inspired, frequently disgusting “Jackass” movies, which at their best allow viewers to test the abilities of the human body without actually risking their own. “Bad Grandpa” foolishly creates a thin plot in which sex-crazed Irving Zisman (Knoxville) drives his 8-year-old grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll), from Nebraska to North Carolina to reunite with the boy’s deadbeat father. This allows opportunities for the fictional characters to act like stupid jerks so that real, unwitting people will look surprised and uneasy. It happens as Irving loads the body of his late wife into a trunk. It happens as grandpa introduces his penis to a soda machine with painful, stretchy results. It happens as super-white Irving goes to a strip club, attended exclusively by black women watching black men dance, and strips to his tighty-whiteys.