Director: Dan Mazer
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Zac Efron, Julianne Hough, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza
After the death of his wife, Dick Kelly (DeNiro) is eager to grab life by the horns and relive his youth. Dragging his reluctant grandson, Jason (Efron), along for the ride, they embark on a wild road trip to Florida for Spring Break.
The best thing I can say about this film is it is mercifully short, but 102 minutes is still 102 minutes too many for this woefully terrible, poor excuse of a film. So let’s just crack on with the bad points.
Dirty Grandpa is that rare beast, one that only comes along every once in a while. It is a film with absolutely no redeeming qualities. None whatsoever. I legitimately have nothing good to say about this film, and I wasn’t about to waste any time scraping the beer-splattered barrel to try and find something good to say about it. Not since 2015’s Entourage have I seen a film so brazenly offensive, and quite frankly some moments in Dirty Grandpa make Entourage seem positively refined.
I could unpack in great detail all the things that are terrible about this film, and we’ll get to the crass “humour” in a little bit, but the thing which is most terrible about this film is the fact that DeNiro is willing to lower himself to films such as this. If he appeared slightly shamefaced about his appearance in the forgettable romantic comedy of 2015, The Intern, then on the press tour for Dirty Grandpa, he should just find a dark place to hide and stay there until it all blows over. To see one of the all-time greats appear in a film this bad is just plain upsetting.
Zac Efron is also on a bit of a bad streak, the vapid We Are Your Friends was a massive box office flop, and when he is making decisions to appear in films like Dirty Grandpa, I think he really needs to find a new agent and start making better choices. Digging himself out of the pit of mediocre and just plain bad films he is currently in, will take some doing. If he keeps churning out bull like this, he risks fading into obscurity, and will never get the opportunity to prove himself beyond the lewd brand of “bro humour” he’s currently keeping company with.
There’s a good reason why I referred to the humour of this film in inverted commas earlier. I’m sure if you like crass comedies, then this will be right up your street. It ticks every bodily fluid reference possible and pokes fun at almost every single minority group in its short runtime. Pretty impressive if you think about it, but there is absolutely nothing big or clever about the cheap laughs this film tries to generate. Even if this brand of comedy is your thing, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the script is incredibly lacklustre, and there isn’t even the slightest semblance of a plot or any characters to care about. There is absolutely nothing I liked about this film.
Halfway through the film, there was a good opportunity for a redeeming scene. There is a moment shared between Jason and Dick, as Dick realises no amount of hijinks can save him from the fact he is getting older. Where the film could have showed some restraint, it instead opted for more lewdness, and that faint glimmer of redemption we saw immediately disappears, never to be seen again.
I saw this movie so you don’t have to. Save yourselves, save your money and save your time. Under no circumstances should you go and see this film. Even if you’re slightly intrigued and want to go and see it just to see if it really is that bad, I can ensure you it is that bad. Do not waste your time! I have taken one for the team and seen it so you don’t have to. Spend 102 minutes listening to nails on a chalkboard instead; it’ll be less painful.
Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well.