Dirty Grandpa Review
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Throughout his long and legendary career, Robert De Niro has appeared in a number of unforgettable films, playing gangsters, boxers, and a plethora of other tough guys. But while he may play a retired soldier in his outrageous comedy Dirty Grandpa, his role is still pretty surprising.

Dirty Grandpa stars De Niro as Dick Kelly, a recently-widowed former Green Beret who, on the day after his wife’s funeral, is determined to make the trip from his home in Atlanta to his place in Florida, as he and his wife did every year. Unfortunately, he no longer has a driver’s license, so he asks his straight-laced lawyer grandson, Jason (Zac Efron), to drive him. With just days to go before his glamorous wedding, Jason reluctantly agrees—and he soon finds himself on a wild and crazy adventure with a grandfather who seems set on recapturing his youth.

  
 
If there’s one thing to be said about Dirty Grandpa, it’s that it doesn’t hold back. There’s absolutely nothing subtle or understated about this rowdy comedy. It’s crass and outrageous and sometimes downright shocking—and De Niro owns every over-the-top minute and every offensive line as he smokes, drinks, and curses his way through the whole ridiculous adventure with the kind of hard-partying stamina that most frat boys only wish they had. It’s obnoxious and generally uncomfortable, but try as you might to keep a straight face, De Niro will sometimes shock the laughs right out of you. It’s certainly surprising—though not necessarily in a good way.

If you take away the foul-mouthed old man humor, though, there’s not much left. The story is little more than a poorly-written rom-com cliché, clumsily built on inconsistencies, coincidences, lies, and puzzling plot glitches. And while Efron at least has a couple of comical moments, the rest of the cast tends to range from bland (like Zoey Deutch, who plays Jason’s hippie-cute college lab partner) to just plain annoying (like Aubrey Plaza, who plays Dick’s college-age obsession). At times, De Niro manages to distract away from the story with his outrageous antics, but even he can do just so much. And as the gimmick wears off and the story completely loses its way, it becomes less awkwardly amusing and more regrettable.

If you love crazy, crude comedies, Dirty Grandpa is at least entertaining. De Niro’s commitment to the role is impressive—and he single-handedly saves the film from total failure. But you can probably get your fill just by watching the red band trailer.


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