Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Dirty Grandpa teaser poster.jpg
Will leave you feeling dirty

Director: Dan Mazer
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Zoey Deutch, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Mantzoukas, Dermot Mulroney

In an effort to console his recently widowed grandfather, Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) agrees to drive Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro) to Florida. Intending a smooth and rapid trip, due to being so close to his wedding, Jason is taken aback by his grandfathers desire to unleash his party animal, and sleep with other women.

Hollywood seems intent on placing elderly actors raucous comedies, where they act against type. Robert De Niro must have enjoyed working on Last Vegas enough to give it another try, which unfortunately leaves us with the Oscar winning actor in one of his worst ever roles. Dick Kelly is a vile being who's overly crass, homophobic, misogynistic, and aiming to sleep with anybody the day after his wife's funeral. Half-hearted reasoning is thrown behind the latter, but after witnessing his self-serving attitude, it's comes off as unbelievable.

They saw the film.
As one sees Zac Efron phone it in performance wise, it's unclear whether his performance is meant to mirror how his character is dissatisfied with his life, or if he truly isn't trying. On the basis of the picture, he can't be faulted for doing the latter, when he's stuck portraying a wet blanket, the butt of many "jokes" and a victim of a half-assed attempt at a character arc.

To be fair, the script does no favours for any of its characters. Adam Pally's use goes as far as discussing manually masturbating animals, while Julianne Hough is stuck as the one-note partner whose sole characteristic is being controlling. Aubrey Plaza fares the worst, merely portraying an extended gag where she and De Niro explicitly flirt with one another. But then the script does little else favours, dragging out obvious attempts at comedy, while outright failing at other moments. Heartfelt moments between characters are attempted, but it's difficult to buy into when we bear witness to De Niro placing his penis next to Efron's head.

To call Dan Mazer's work here half-assed is overestimating things, as Dirty Grandpa is a toxic waste of celluloid, unless one has a long seated desire to see Robert De Niro masturbating. Populated by unlikeable characters, a third act twist where they fall victim to ravenous zombies would have been more than welcome.