Just because it’s January and awards season, doesn’t mean it’s all personal high scoring movies and critically loved features; there is one movie that threatens to cast a frightening shadow over the first month of 2016 in being so awful that potential Oscar winning films could be forgotten. Which is worse because ‘Dirty Grandpa’ itself is the film you want to forget, ignore…erase from memory.
Uptight lawyer Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is due to be married very soon but before his big day, his once close grandpa Dick (Robert De Niro) has him drive him apparently to his home in Florida, but really dickish Dick wants to insult every living thing and have sex with an extremely lustful spring breaker.
Dan Mazer, the director, or whatever he was doing behind the camera needs to be ashamed because after his debut outing with the frankly funny and well structured ‘I Give it a Year’; this follow up is perhaps the least entertaining and crude movie I’ve ever had the misfortune to clap my eyes upon. No joke, character, scene or in fact second of this film feels comfortable or right, it can’t even be called clichéd because at least other movies of the comedy genre manage to land a laugh amongst the usual characters or situations.
John M. Philips will hopefully be a name we don’t see often because his screenplay for this despairing 102 minutes is nothing but distasteful pokes at anything and everything offensive. Racism, sexism, homophobia, nudity and De Niro masturbating are all common things thrown into this nasty bubbling pot. Somehow amidst all the failing jokes this rude freak show of cinema labels itself a comedy and can’t see how ugly it is from start to finish.
The cringe worthy photo-shopped opening with Efron and De Niro snaps should let you know what a train wreck you’re in for but if that doesn’t then a later scene with a near naked Efron and an ill aimed idea to poke fun at paedophilia will really let you know the horror of what this film contains. There is no desire for engagement or connecting to the flimsy family road trip plot, there’s no originality or humour. Generally this movie fails to make me see how anyone cared a damn when constructing such a dire story, in turn making me want to stop giving a damn wasting time writing a review about it.
Robert De Niro by this point has all but crapped on his career, this recent and grotesque escapade being further proof that this talented icon of the screen is waning. It makes me sad at his choices that are horrible, either he’s happy with the money easily cashed in from coasting through movies or he’s…um, deluded. The character of Dick is so disgustingly painted that not even De Niro can save him. Zac Efron isn’t anything special, solely being there as the good guy and to draw in ticket sales by showing his ripped bod, hell even at times he looks hurt to be in this picture. Aubrey Plaza is viciously bad and sluttily two dimensional in what may be the worst thing she’ll ever do. Julianne Hough is boring and stuck in a clichéd box of the boring partner not right for the protagonist.
Everything in this film is in bad taste and I hate it more for seeing De Niro at the continued beginning of the end in his career. This dirty film is painfully unfunny with no value apart from likely soaring to the tops of worst movie lists of 2016 before we’ve even seen what’s on offer in the next 11 months.
I guess parts of the awkward wedding break up and De Niro lifting Efron for real is impressive, so: