Zac Efron and Robert De Niro take the lead in the first big-budget comedy to arrive this year. If this is the standard that we can expect from this genre over the upcoming 12 months, then unfortunately it’s going to be a fairly average year.
After the passing of his grandmother, Jason Kelly (Efron) is forced to take his estranged grandfather, Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro) to his annual holiday destination. Once at the destination, Jason realises not all is at it seems when Dick’s personality rapidly begins to change.
The film doesn’t excel in direction or script writing. Feeling like it was written by a 14 year old just discovering swearing for the first time; ‘Dirty grandpa’ feels like a juvenile attempt at comedy with your average amount of racism thrown in.
To my amazement, the one thing that saves the film is co-star Robert De Niro. In the amount of comedies De Niro has starred in, he has been very average in the majority of them. Surprisingly however, his performance here is fairly enjoyable. Continuing this run, the Academy Award winning actor proves to be funny and upstages Zac Efron in every department. Efron must know that he isn’t the greatest actor living, so he results in randomly taking off his shirt throughout the film. For me, that’s a desperate sign of trying to be noticed in the industry and cover up his dire acting – he is starting to feel like a one trick pony, struggling to find his place in the industry. There doesn’t seem to be one type of genre he excels in or makes much of an impact in.
Overall, ‘Bad Grandpa’ has just about enough funny moments to gloss over the terrible performance from Mr Efron. With a few decent laughs throughout, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. Not likely to be one that audiences will rush to see in the cinema, it might just make it in the DVD player one day. The film isn’t one that I hated or enjoyed a lot, but it passed the time well. 3 out of 5 stars.