I feel like we’re a couple bad movies away from Robert De Niro revealing he’s in financial trouble. Let’s just take a look at some of his film choices ever since he started going downhill with Meet The Parents. Besides the two atrocious sequels that followed, he’s done absolute dogs like Showtime, Righteous Kill and Last Vegas and that’s omitting a bunch of things that I’d rather not even mention. I will admit there were some great and fun ones in there too like Stardust, Machete and Limitless but with his latest film Dirty Grandpa, he may have struck bottom and that’s not a euphemism, as much as the producers of the film would probably love it to be.
I can not stress how brutally awful this film is and I feel like everyone had to be aware of this while they were making it. The complete insanity of the cliches, awful and, I’m sure, offensive jokes to people of every walk of life has to have been noticed at some point. It’s baffling to think Lionsgate approved of anything in this horrible torture device, let alone put a “guesstimated” fifteen million dollars to watch a befuddled Zac Efron pal around with a De Niro that is a complete embarrassment to the man he once was.
To describe the story of, well, I have a hard time calling it a movie but you get my point. The “plot” of this “hour and a half long thing” revolves around Dick Kelly (De Niro), a retired Army vet whose wife had just passed away. Wanting to reconnect with his grandson Jason (Efron), Dick convinces him to drive him down to Boca Raton to the vacation spot that him and his wife used to frequent. Jason is a bit reluctant, a busy junior lawyer at his dad’s law firm, also less than a week away from his upcoming marriage. His fiancee (Julianne Hough) is a self obsessed and controlling cliche who has issues with letting Jason out of her sight.
Under the wholesome pretenses of helping his grandfather deal with the death of the love of his life, Jason goes to pick Dick up for the trip and then we’re visually assaulted as Jason discovers his grandpa masturbating freely in the open. The nice old man has quickly shifted into a brazen and offensive jokester at the drop of a hat. Oh ,wait, no, I have to get onto the level of this movie. at the drop of his WIFE! Oh man, I’m a million dollar film writer!
As the two head from Atlanta to Florida, Dick tells Jason there is a change in plans and he wants to go to Daytona Beach for spring break and bed some college girls. Yes, this movie is now Cocoon meets American Pie, a senior citizen horndog flick that no audience cares about. There’s no redeeming qualities, no draw of originality or ingenuity and has De Niro slinging revolting dialogue throughout this film, unrelenting until you want to just escape, just as many critics at the press screening did.
I’m seriously baffled at the audacity of making this film. The basic outline on paper should have revolted anyone from even approaching it and for De Niro to further lower his standards to do almost a Rodney Dangerfield-esque film is a troubling thought. Zac Efron even looks weirded out at times to be involved in the quagmire of badly written garbage that quickly shows it’s true colors. Know that I will be scouring the internet for a single positive review of this and I’m sure I’ll just find tumbleweeds among the screaming.
This movie also continues the trend of overly and unnecessarily sexualizing great funny ladies. Last year in the Will Ferrell Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, Community’s Alison Brie pranced around the film in lingerie for most of her supporting scenes, something I’m sure was loved by the lusty fanboys. Honestly, to me it felt a bit weird, like seeing a friend’s sister in a revealing bathing suit and yelling “put some clothes on!” I really didn’t think it’d be worse and then Aubrey Plaza appeared in Dirty Grandpa spouting the sluttiest lines they could possibly write for her while she showed her butt off in a thong. It’s baffling that the darkly nihilistic April from Parks and Recreation had accepted this for herself.
As I try to dig deep for something positive to say about this, I keep coming back to comedian, podcaster and always screen welcome Jason Mantzoukas, the only reason to even give this film a second of thought. Playing the “legal” drug proprietor Pam (short for Pamela), everything out of the guys mouth comes off really and actually funny but I refuse to give any sort of credit to the filmmakers for that. Mantzoukas is just naturally hilarious, as you can hear on his show “How Did This Get Made”. The simple fact of me giving this film any points at all is because of him.
This movie lacks any shred of new comedy, resorting constantly to phallic humor, innuendo without subtlety and De Niro making the biggest ass of himself that you could possibly imagine. It’s also a good thing that the trailer for Neighbors 2 got released a couple days before this screening because I would real feel sorry for young Zac Efron’s choices as well. It’s odd to say it but I feel the originality of that SEQUEL would be leagues above anything that Dirty Grandpa brought. This is a vile and detestable movie that may well be my number one worst film of 2016 at the end of the year. Yes, it’s that horrible. Lionsgate should owe me reparations for having to go through that total waterboarding. I give this a point five out of five.