REVIEW: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Poster - Lionsgate
Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a quick review of Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa.

In 1975, Robert De Niro – my favorite actor of his generation – won an Academy Award for his performance as Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. In 1981, De Niro won his second Academy Award for his performance as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Then in 2016, one of De Niro’s worst films was released. Let’s talk about Dirty Grandpa.

In Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa, Jason (played by Zac Efron) agrees to drive his grandfather (played by Robert De Niro) to Florida following the death of Jason’s grandmother. Jason is about to get married, but his grandfather’s antics may end up ruining his relationship with his fiancée (played by Julianne Hough).

Dan Mazer is best known for co-writing Borat and Bridget Jones’ Baby, which tells me that this is a talented guy. Say what you will about Borat, but there’s something really smart about that mockumentary. I think Mazer has talent as a writer, but Mazer didn’t write Dirty Grandpa.

I didn’t laugh once while watching this film. Well, actually, that’s not completely true. I did laugh, but not with the film. Call it nervous laughter, if you will. I thought this was just a really terrible comedy. The best scene in the film is one of the last, but that scene isn’t worth the wait.

For what it’s worth, I am a fan of a lot of the actors in the film. I love Robert De Niro, I like Zac Efron a lot, and I think Aubrey Plaza can be flat-out hilarious at times. But they weren’t particularly good in this film. There’s really not much to work with here, and that’s a shame.

You see, we all know that Plaza is a good comedic actor, but so are De Niro and Efron. Efron is fantastic in the Neighbors films, and I really like Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents. But this is just a terrible and extremely offensive road trip comedy. There are truly irritating characters, the film has zero laughs, and a lot of the jokes are straight-up reprehensible.

2.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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