Dirty Grandpa: Movie Review
Jason (played by Zac Efron), is a bright young Atlanta lawyer who takes after his workaholic father (Dermot Mulroney). But Jason’s grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) remembers a more interesting Jason, before persistent ambition took over his life. So after Grandma’s funeral, Dick asks Jason to drive him down to Florida a week before Jason is due to marry the high-maintenance Meredith (Julianne Hough). Jason quickly discovers that Grandpa is intent on sowing some very wild oats, detouring their journey through Daytona at spring break, where they meet a couple of girls (Aubrey Plaza and Zoey Deutch) who are up for pretty much anything. What Jason doesn’t know is that Grandpa is doing all of this to remind Jason who he really is, and to show him how to enjoy life instead of control it.
The script sometimes lays on this message rather thickly in between a series of deliberately jaw-dropping funny but gross sequences. Predictably, drugs and sex abound, and most of the jokes are pretty corny and ludicrous (for a lack of better words) that they’re not remotely believable. Everything that happens strains to shock the audience, which means that nothing is actually very shocking. But while the story has no tension at all, it also manages to grab hold of the audience simply because the characters are so vividly played by the fearless Efron and De Niro. Neither role is much of a stretch, but they dive into even the yucky and/or naked moments with gusto, developing some chemistry in the process.
At times it leaves even the genuinely funny scenes feeling rather pointless based on the way they play out. The movie does deliver with some scenes that will make you chuckle a bit, but it depends on the type of “comedy” you prefer and what you consider comedy. Although there are other key actors and actresses in the film, the movie is centered behind Jason and Dick majority of the movie. This is certainly the kind of movie a serious film critic would never admit to laughing at. I couldn’t possibly comment.
There are a few comedy scenes that are laughable but overall I was kind of disappointed. I liked the overall plot of the movie, but the way they attempted to translate the comedy was a let down in a few scenes. 3 Stars is the perfect rating for this movie; it's better than average but no excellent.