|UK Release Date||25th January 2016|
|Starring||People Who Should Know Better|
|Certificate||M for Moron|
|Reviewed||2nd February 2016|
I’ll cut right to the chase on this one. Dirty Grandpa is a godawful movie. I’ve spent a couple of days considering the angles that this review could hit it from and frankly, I’m peeved that I have spent any time considering anything about it, never mind the £11 I sank on it at Cineworld. What I’m really hoping, above all else is two things. One - if you’re reading anything on this site, you’re already pretty sure you do not want to see this movie. Two - nothing short of a gun barrel shoved in your ribs will make you go to see it once you’ve read this.
I’m really not shitting you, I’ve seen some shoddy work in my time and a fair share since we set up this erstwhile organ but this has to be some of the most loathsome effluence that I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
The plot (apologies to plots everywhere for sullying your good name) revolves around Robert De Niro’s recently widowed Dick Kelly conning his grandson into carting him down to Florida. Him and young Jason (Zac Efron) you see used to have a great relationship (we’re shown this through a bunch of old school photos photoshopped by an intern working on the film, depicting old Grandpa and Jason having just a lovely time) and they’ve since grown apart because Jason abandoned all his childhood dreams and became a corporate lawyer just like his dad (first world problems, eh?). I think the journey was initially supposed to replicate the holiday weekend that Grandpa went on every year with Grandma - “It’s what she would have wanted” but to be honest, I forget and it matters not a jot.
En-route, i.e. directly out of town at the very first opportunity, Dick and Jason bump into Jason’s old school lab partner Shadia (Zoey Deutch), now some sort of enviro-crusading photographer (you know, just like what Jason might have become), Aubrey Plaza’s Lenore - desperate to cop off with a professor because that’s literally all the writers could think to do with the other girl and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman's Bradley - solely here so De Niro can lob offensive and utterly unfunny jabs at him for being, wait for it, black. And gay. You getting the level yet? Fuck yeah you are. Some leering over Plaza’s arse later and Grandpa is determined to nail her so off they head to Florida where, wouldn’t you know it, it’s SPRING BREAK.
Cue every single kind of spring break cliche you can throw a bumblebee codpiece at. Plus a drug dealer hilariously named Pam. I say hilariously because, yes, it’s a man! Holy shit, how are the fucking Einstein’s of comedy going to explain THAT??!! I won’t spoil the gag. Doesn’t matter, he’s not only tolerated but encouraged by the local police, leading to far more hilarity.
Needless to say, every single person associated with this sorry fuck-up of a movie should be ashamed. De Niro, well, I feel bad for knocking Al Pacino’s Manglehorn last year. Efron is a decent actor and pretty adept at comedy so to arrive in this horseshit can only point at pisspoor management. Aubrey Plaza! What are you doing? Great in Parks & Recreation and standout in the uneven but pretty good Life After Beth, you really do not need to be slumming it with this nonsense. The rest of you? I don’t care, I really don’t.
It seems redundant to pick apart the utter joylessness of Dirty Grandpa. Likewise the horrifically unfunny levels of gross-out ‘comedy’ spewed out during 142 gruelling minutes. But for the sake of pulling up a couple of things; no, it does not make it all right if Grandpa is a racist homophobe because he’s funny and later on, he hangs out with some black guys after beating them up for abusing the gay guy. And no, it’s not all right if Grandpa spends the entire movie preying on a girl barely out of her teens because in the end they love each other. And no, I really really don’t care what happens to these over-privileged morons, even if it transpires that Grandpa was doing it all for Jason’s sake.
Brit helmer Dan Mazer once did some stuff on Borat. Nice one Dan, nice one. You’ve copied and pasted rubbish from as many teen spring break films as you can and added extra swearing and vagina gags. Take a bow. There is far more that is wretched and tiresome and despair inducing in this movie but life is short and if I spend more time staring at the £2m UK opening figures for this, I may have to retreat to a desert island bereft of cinema for the rest of my existence.
It all pretty much boils down to the first few minutes. If you find it hilarious that Efron’s Jason has to drive his Grandpa in a pink Mini because his boring, domineering cardboard cutout of a fiancé needs the SUV for some wedding related task (it’s a girls car! it’s pink! that’s what girls drive! boys look ridiculous in that!), then you will have a fucking ball with this movie. For the rest of the population, Dirty Grandpa is like a drunk, confused teen screaming swear words into a mirror. There is only one person going to find that funny. And even he (it could only be a he) will wake up sober at some point, ruing his life decisions.