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Dirty Grandpa Review

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While Robert De Niro’s choices of roles in recent years has been less than stellar, the goodwill garnered by the likes of Raging Bull, The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull and even Midnight Run has seen us forgive the odd misstep the great man has taken in his later career. But all that good will is in danger of being washed away with Dirty Grandpa, a ‘comedy’ that puts shocks first and laughs a distant, distant second, leaning heavily on De Niro’s profanity fuelled turn as a randy senior citizen slap dab in the middle of Spring Break in a vain attempt to wring some genuine laughs from the audience.


The story, or whatever it is that movie has masquerading as a story, sees De Niro’s Army veteran Dick con his strait laced grandson Jason (Zac Efron) into taking him to Florida so he can have sex with a young woman the day after Dick buries his wife of forty years, something she apparently encouraged him to do on her death bed. There is also the matter of Jason’s impending marriage to the soul crushing Meredith (Julianne Hough) and Dick’s strained relation with Jason’s father (Dermot Mulroney), but these subplots just seem like minor annoyances on director Dan Mazer’s (I Give It a Year) jaunt down the bad taste trail that begins with the sight of the one time Jake La Motta tugging one out while watching porn and just gets more cringe inducing from there. Dirty Grandpa is a one joke movie, and that one joke can be found in the title. De Niro’s one note turn wears out its welcome quite quickly, as you will soon tire of his constant gay jabs at Jason or his trading of sexual innuendo with Aubery Plaza’s uninhibited college student Lenore, who has the dubious honour of bagging all the movie’s worst lines. Philip Morris’ script constantly mistakes for shock value for humour, at times becoming down right offensive, and just feels like random scenes cobbled together into something that could be mistaken for a competent narrative.

With De Niro seemingly just picking up a pay check, the weight of the movie falls on Efron’s shoulders and he immediately is crushed by it. Most of the time he looks as uncomfortable as the audience, and just stumbles through scenes, only looking confident when he gets to fall back on his status as a sex symbol. The rest of the cast, including Zoey Dutch and Happy Ending’s Adam Pally, are just pulled along for the ride and don’t make much of an impression.

At no point could Dirty Grandpa seemed like a good idea. But somehow it made its way to the big screen, and what we’re left with is an offensive, humour black hole that only highlights how low De Niro’s career has fallen. Avoid like you’ve never avoided a movie before!!







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The Movie Bit: Dirty Grandpa Review
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