Starring: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Aubrey Plaza
Director: Dan Mazer
Running Time: 102 mins
Dirty Grandpa is an American film about an uptight young lawyer, on the verge of getting married, who is forced to take a trip to Florida with his foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed grandfather during spring break.
This isn’t a good film. It’s a comedy with next to no good laughs, an excessively juvenile script, pretty average performances, and even production errors that you wouldn’t expect of a Hollywood film. In short, I didn’t like Dirty Grandpa, but I do recognise that, despite a lot of its more ‘on-edge’ jokes, it’s not actually very offensive, and so, if you’ve really got nothing else to watch, can be seen with your brain turned completely off.
And that’s where I’ll start. This is a stupid comedy, about the same level as any of the more average Adam Sandler movies. I never hated watching Dirty Grandpa, and although I was a little bored and checked my watch a couple of times, its silliness wasn’t too annoying, and so it is watchable.
There aren’t too many strengths to this film, but the one thing that I really did like was Zac Efron’s performance. Robert De Niro, Aubrey Plaza and the rest of the cast are disappointingly terrible, but Efron continues to impress as a comedic actor, following on from Bad Neighbours. Not only does he play the good guy really well, and is definitely likeable throughout, but on the occasion that he has to do some physical comedy, he pulls it off, and is easily the most entertaining part of the whole film.
But I’m being very generous, because Dirty Grandpa really isn’t funny. With a screenplay that sounds like it was written by a 13 year old boy, 95% of the jokes fall completely flat, and just make for awkward silence which is left for you to laugh. Meanwhile, the shock value of De Niro’s character acting like a teenager wears off within seconds, and, seeing as that’s the entire crux of the film from start to finish, you can imagine how repetitive and unfunny it got by the end.
Finally, it’s not necessarily something that will have a huge impact on your enjoyability of the film as a whole, but, seeing as I was pretty bored at times, I began to pick up on a surprising amount of continuity errors. There are some unexpected things that just change at times, and yet nobody really mentions it, but that can be excused with some common sense, however there are genuinely some scenes where people are either wearing a shirt, and then a second later it’s completely gone, or somebody is standing one way, and then in a quick cut, are in a completely different position that they couldn’t have ever moved to in that time.
Like I said, it’s not particularly important, but when you notice these things, it tells you two things: it’s a boring film (because I should have been laughing), and it’s a lazy film, so with that in mind, I’ll give Dirty Grandpa a 5.1.