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Friday, January 22, 2016

Dirty Grandpa 2016 * * Stars

Dirty GrandpaDirector: Dan Mazer
Year: 2016
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Robert De Niro,  Efron, Aubrey Plaza

Hello all readers. I just saw Dirty Grandpa earlier today. Critics everywhere have been ripping it left and right. Now I can't say that I want 102 minutes of my life back. I do however, feel remorse for humoring myself in bits and pieces during "Grandpa". I have one word to recount my disposition: Ugh!

Anyway, actor Robert De Niro is rich, bored, probably needs a hobby, loves to act, and in the last fifteen years or so, seems to take on almost every script that comes his way. That's kinda what I gathered from watching his 78th movie (my first review of the new year). Bobby's integrity in time has steadily gone downhill but I doubt he gives a darn. I mean he's Robert freaking De Niro, two-time Oscar winner. In truth, he does a complete 180-degree turn from his lovable, senior citizen role in The Intern (one of my favorite films from last year) to playing a horny, perverted oldtimer bent on sleeping with promiscuous, college girls. Dirty Grandpa featuring De Niro and Zac Efron (he plays Robert's character's grandson), is one of the sickest, foulest, nastiest, and most vile comedies ever to come down the pike. I couldn't recommend it even if I had a gun to my head. Here's the thing though: If you're into crass, gross, and profanity-laden humor, it will sometimes make you laugh (out loud I might add). A 72 year-old man masturbating to porn, the same 72 year-old man singing Ice Cube (karaoke-style) while spouting off the n-word, a young, prominent attorney smoking crack and waking up half-naked on a beach (surrounded by beer bottles), and a female police officer putting a smartphone down her pants while taking a picture of her full vagina. God helps us. God help us all.

Taking place in Daytona Beach, Florida (mingled with Atlanta, GA), featuring a hip soundtrack (songs by Nick Catchdubs, DJ Rebel, and R3hab), showcasing an ending that actually reminded me of The Graduate (I'm not kidding), and obsessing the audience with penises being drawn on people's faces, Dirty Grandpa is directed with a skewed moral center by Dan Mazer (he wrote 2006's Borat). There's an unnecessary cameo involving famed actor Danny Glover (he plays an old army buddy of De Niro's character), a bit of dialogue where Bob actually mentions defecating and Queen Latifah in the same sentence (gulp), and sexual innuendo literally up the wazoo. The story is as follows: Dick Kelly (De Niro) lives in the state of Georgia and just lost his wife of forty years to cancer. Every year during springtime, he went to Florida with said wife as sort of a prolonged tradition. Right after the funeral and to the dismay of his own son (David Kelly played by Dermot Mulroney), Dick vows to take his grandson (Jason played by Zac Efron) back to The Sunshine State for golfing and eventual high jinks (a la Daytona Beach). Jason reluctantly goes even though he is soon to get married. He is forced to help gramps get sex from an easy vixen named Lenore (played by 31 year-old Audrey Plaza). Zoey Deutch (Shadia) plays Efron's forgotten love interest and Jason Mantzoukas (from Neighbors) plays a whacked-out drug dealer who befriends them all.

Now if you decide to take in a viewing of "Grandpa", know what you're getting into. Don't go expecting a sensory, crime thriller in the shape of 2012's Spring Breakers. Just think of this vehicle as a Spring Breakathon more along the lines of Very Bad Things (minus any real tension or anyone getting murdered). As for legend Robert De Niro, well he has too much fun playing Dick Kelly. It's as if he thinks he's expanding his acting repertoire by acting unprincipled in a ruckus comedy. Travis Bickle really needs to just check himself.

In conclusion, Dirty Grandpa tries so hard for laughs that it either exhausts you, offends you, or just makes you feel like you need a shower (no pun intended). I liked the chemistry between De Niro and Efron in that they looked similar while seeming believable as grandfather and grandson. I don't think they'll dent their careers with "Grandpa" (Zac might unless Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising does well) but you gotta wonder why they would humiliate themselves for so much as a paycheck. I mean did De Niro actually read the script and think that it was okay to put his character's penis in Efron's character's face (in one scene) or get a young twentysomething pregnant (in another scene)? And did De Niro actually agree to say a line describing wrestler Andre the Giant and his fingering of several stacked females (apparently so)? Oh and did Zac Efron really think it was okay to have a young, child actor grab something from his waist area on camera (it was masked by the filmmakers to look like molestation)? That remains to be seen. Yes I sort of laughed during this movie but these sequences were not part of that laughter (the Andre the Giant line, well it just felt out of place). I felt queasy and unsettled more than anything else. Here's my rating: One star goes for Dirty Grandpa's $6 matinee price plus lounge seating at the local multiplex. Another star goes to director Mazer for trying to give "Grandpa" a sentimental edge involving long lost love and a rekindling between father, son, and grandfather. Overall rating: 2 stars. Dirty Grandpa is justifiably flowers in the "dirt" (thank you Paul McCartney).

Written by Jesse Burleson

1 comment:

  1. You do realize that if you do a 360 degree turn you're back to the same direction you started.