The reason I jumped on reviewing Dirty Grandpa, was that it has Robert De Niro in it and well, he’s freaking awesome. Also and I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to become a Zac Efron fan as I catch more of his films. So, seeing them both team up to do something called Dirty Grandpa did trip my curiosity. Once I saw the trailer and got an idea of what I was in for, I was actually looking forward to watching it.
Dirty Grandpa is a comedy with a hundred and two-minute runtime. It was directed by Dan Mazer and written by John Philips. It’s rated R for language and nudity. As far as the story goes, here’s what you’re getting into. Jason’s wedding is a week away and there is still a lot to do. Unfortunately, Jason’s grandmother just passed away, so when his grandpa Dick asks him to drive him to Florida how could he say no. Before Jason knows it, a simple road trip turns into a Spring break fueled crazy adventure and… grandpa’s having a blast!
If you like crude and twisted humor… then you’re going to love this one! Now, the story also has character development and personal journeys where characters grow and learn from each other, but for the most part, it’s about a grandpa trying to catch up on what he’s missed out on after 40 years of marriage. So basically, you’re looking at 70 minutes of drinking and debauchery while grandpa’s trying to get his groove back. As sick as that sounds, I couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. Like I said Phillips does throw in some “depth” to the story. We get life lessons like do you play life safe or take a chance and go for happiness? We get hit with the reminder that we may not always know everything about someone, even if they are family. So, spend the time you have to get to know them. And I personally learned, no matter how much I love my family, there are just somethings I don’t ev-er want to know about them… or their habits.
The playthrough was great. Between the jokes and the sight gags, there’s always a laugh waiting for you around the next corner. There’s a couple of scenes with De Niro that (are forever) burned into my brain and I could have gone a lifetime without seeing, but the trauma was well worth the experience because I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile. Aside from the life lessons, the main characters learn as they go, that’s about as serious as we get from this one. This one is just an excuse to make a film that’s fun to watch and is full of laughs with over exaggerated situations.
Some of the cast is Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver), Zac Efron (That Awkward Moment), Zoey Deutch (Why Him?), Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages), Aubrey Plaza (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (The Skinny), Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friends Wedding) and Jason Mantzoukas (They Came Together). The cast did a really good job. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen De Niro play a character like this, but from beginning to end, he was great. De Niro’s character is verbally brutal to anyone standing within range of him. Be it with his (constant) gay and sexual comments or maybe it’ll be his constant use of foul langue. Yet, underneath that ruff exterior, De Niro’s character is also a caring grandfather trying to look out for his grandson, just in a VERY unorthodox way. As Efron continues to do more comedic roles, the more I find I like him. In this one, Efron plays a great straight-laced character and is a good balance to De Niro’s wild character. Efron and De Niro played great off of each other and they had a nice chemistry between them that showed on screen. I was surprised to see how little Dermot Mulroney was used in the film. He’s a really good actor, but here Mulroney is such a bit player, just like a few other well-known faces in the cast. They pop in drop a few lines and you may or may not see them again, like Glover. The lack of screen time from those people didn’t hurt the film, I just wouldn’t have minded seeing them a bit more was all.
Side note: For all those that have seen this one already and thought it wasn’t dirty enough, on May 17th (2016) the DVD and Blu-ray hit stores and apparently the Blu-ray will feature an unrated version of the film along with other extras.
Overall, if you’re needing a dose of twisted humor, then it’s worth catching.