Here's a look at the new movie I saw this week.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Dermot Mulroney, Julianna Hough, and Aubrey Plaza
Synopsis: When you see Robert De Niro is in a movie, it conjures a certain idea. De Niro is a two-time Oscar winner who has done some memorable roles throughout a decorated career in acting. But it’s easy to forget about that when seeing his latest film, “Dirty Grandpa,” which is a movie and a role unlike anything he’s done in the past. And that’s not a compliment. January is typically a rough time for movies. There’s a lot of rough and very few diamonds that come out. That’s certainly the case with “Dirty Grandpa,” which aims at being crass fun but instead is an over-the-top mess. On the surface this looks like it could be an interesting fish-out-of-water kind of comedy. A straight-laced young man finds out about his grandfather’s unexpected wild side. And there are moments in the movie that are funny and kind of work. But a lot of it is overly crude, dark and uncomfortable. De Niro’s character says and does a lot of rude and insensitive things. And he gets his grandson into a lot of wild situations, ending him up in jail more than once. And these kind of films have worked in the past. Efron, in fact, is good in another comedy film like this called “Neighbors.” But here the action just feels wrong. The jokes get repetitive, the characters are all poorly developed and the story takes some gross and some confusing turns. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and again, that’s not a compliment. De Niro is a great actor but I didn’t really feel his performance here. Efron, too, is capable of much more. The party sequences get boring and the whole film feels overly long though it’s just 102 minutes. It takes a long time to get to its inevitable conclusion, and it doesn’t entertain much along the way. The tacked on closing sequence is also too much. Hopefully these guys had fun making the movie, because it’s not much fun watching it.
Rating: R for crude sexual content throughout, graphic nudity, and for language and drug use. Enter with caution.
Verdict: One star out of four.
Friday, February 5 — "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies," "Hail Cesar," "The Choice"
Friday, February 12 — "Deadpool," "How to Be Single," "Zoolander 2"
Friday, February 19 — "Risen," "Race"
Friday, February 26 — "Gods of Egypt," "Triple 9," "Eddie the Eagle"