Dirty Grandpa, 2016.
Directed by Dan Mazer.
Starring Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, and Aubrey Plaza.
Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.
You really don’t need a review to come to the conclusion that Dirty Grandpa is a horrible movie. The poster already pretty much says it all; I mean, just look at it. It’s an elderly, shirtless, out of shape Robert De Niro bench pressing Zac Efron. Seriously, its common knowledge by now that Robert De Niro isn’t above taking on shamelessly degrading roles to make a quick buck at a stage in his career where he probably just wants to have fun, but that poster is a whole new level of bar sinking. You know what, forget sinking, the bar has fallen through the surface of the Earth and is floating on a lava pit somewhere in Hell.
Here’s where I have to admit that despite how aggressively offensive (literally no one is safe in this movie, featuring jokes about gays, materialistic women, pedophilia, disabled people, black people, and so much more) the shock value is… I occasionally laughed. Not enough to consider making this review positive overall, but there’s no denying that the movie zips along leaving your flabbergasted as to what could possibly happen next.
Dirty Grandpa is like a train that springs off its tracks onto a highway obliterating 42 vehicles before crashing into a nuclear power plant spilling radioactive waste everywhere that turns everyone into that nasty looking guy at the end of Robocop; yes this is horrible, but in a sickening way fun to watch. The extent of the plot is literally just Robert De Niro wanting to fuck a college girl (who is of course depicted as an unabashed slut) because after 40 years of being faithful to his recently deceased wife, he feels entitled to some fun. According to him, this is what she wanted.
There’s even an extended sequence where Zac Efron is completely naked with a beetle stuffed animal strapped to his dick. What follows in the morning is one of the crudest things I probably have ever seen in a movie. Funny? Not really. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained on some level.
Unfortunately, most of the movie isn’t humorous at all. If you find jokes about masturbation funny, then Dirty Grandpa might be your movie. You also might be 13. A reoccurring joke in the movie is characters getting swastikas made out of dicks getting drawn onto their forehead, which is something me and my brother did to the first kid that fell asleep at a party when we were in third grade. Not the swastika part, just drawing big ol’ dicks on people.
For some reason, Robert De Niro also has an obsession with poking Zac Efron in the ass with his thumb. I don’t even think 13-year-olds will laugh at that one. Another big misfire is when the duo get into a face-off against another team flexing their bodies, meaning yes, De Niro does in fact get topless. I guess seeing Zac Efron essentially naked balances that out. However you want to look at it, I’m scarred for life.
At least the drug dealer character has some funny lines. To be fair, all of the actors run with this material regardless of how indisputably awful it is. Zac Efron didn’t need to do partial nudity for this crap, and Aubrey Plaza didn’t need to have a softcore sex scene with Robert De Niro; all of these celebrities are above this, but it’s hard to not just sit back and admire the dedication they brought to something so crass and vulgar. Or maybe they just all will shamelessly do anything for money. I don’t know or care, but it’s certainly worth respecting.
A bad movie is one thing, but a boring one with no redeemable qualities is something else entirely. Dirty Grandpa delivers on shock value in spades, and on that alone is mildly amusing.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★