Friday, January 22, 2016

Dirty Grandpa - Review

   Comedies are such a hard genre to judge these days. Very few are ever released that are great films, but a majority of them are still funny in their own ways. Dirty Grandpa is another one of these strange cases. In my heart I know the film is not good in the slightest, but the laughs are still there. Enough so that I can say I enjoyed watching it, but not so much that I can say it’s a good movie.
   Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is only a week away from marrying his boss’s rather uptight daughter, putting him in the driver’s seat for a promotion at the firm. That is until his grandfather, Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro), tricks him into a roadtrip to Florida for a surprisingly wild spring break. While Jason stresses about the wedding, Dick tries to show his grandson what it means to live life to the fullest.
   Ultimately the best things about this movie are the two leads. The chemistry and relationship between Efron and De Niro is believable and leads to the humor being that much better. The comedic timing is top notch and seeing De Niro be the raunchy grandpa is probably the best aspect of the entire movie. The role reversal in general is great, as seeing Efron as the straight man trying to control his wild grandpa is truly backwards.
   From there, the movie goes downhill. Beyond the main actors, the supporting characters don’t bring much to the table. Both Adam Pally’s character and Jason Mantzoukas’ character are featured way too heavily and grow tiresome as their comedic gimmick runs thin fast. The only supporting role that garners any attention is Aubrey Plaza nailing the perverted college senior who just wants to finish her goal for her final semester.
   A large problem throughout the film, and a lot of comedies today, is its inherent need for shock value comedy. Instead of subtlety, Dirty Grandpa goes for the over the top absurd jokes that are sure to get a laugh but only because you can’t believe what was actually said. Instead of crafting a story around a pretty emotional element involving the relationships between generations, there are just scenes that are put in place for another series of jokes. An unrelenting number of jokes occur in a rather short runtime and thus it’s hard to really get anything really worthwhile out of it besides a chuckle before it’s on to the next joke.

   Overall, Dirty Grandpa is entertaining enough if you’re just looking to laugh. The offensive jokes come a mile a minute and grow tiresome by the time the credits roll. Efron and De Niro have great chemistry and timing but the rest of the movie never settles in around them, leaving the final product of a collection of absurd situations and raunchy jokes with very little in terms of story. There are a few really funny moments along the way but not enough to qualify Dirty Granpda as an actual good comedy. (2.5/10)

So what did you think of Dirty Grandpa? Have you seen it and what's your favorite Robert De Niro role? Share, comment below, and always remember to return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews.