Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is one week away from marrying his boss' uber-controlling daughter, putting him on the fast track for a partnership at the law firm. But, when the straight-laced Jason is tricked into driving his foul-mouthed, ex Army General grandfather, Dick (Robert De Niro), to Daytona for spring break, his pending nuptials are suddenly in jeopardy. Between riotous frat parties, bar fights, and an epic night of karaoke, Dick is on a quest to live his life to the fullest and bring Jason along for the ride. Ultimately, on the wildest journey of their lives, "dirty" Grandpa and his uptight grandson discover they can learn from one another and form the bond they never had.
Review by Louise Keller:
Cringeworthy on every level, this gross-out American Pie comedy for seniors is an all time low for Robert De Niro, who is complicit in the tirade of crude language, expletives, masturbation, simulated sex acts, drug orgies and embarrassing behavior. It's an embarrassment all around as first time writer John Phillips (now working on Dirty Santa 2) goes for the smutty jugular, aiming to shock by explicit articulation of sexual desires couched in humorous terms. In his second attempt from the director's chair, Ali G writer, Dan Mazer throws all the questionable material at his audience with no grace or tact - like a stand up routine. It's all in your face and even ideas or lines that are funny are diminished by the blatant way they are presented.
When newly widowered Grandpa (De Niro's aptly named Dick) and his fashion perfect, hen-pecked groom-to-be grandson Jason (Zac Efron) set out on a road trip to Florida, we are in no doubt as to Grandpa's lusty, hedonistic state of mind. The contrast between the crude, rude sex-starved former army mechanic grandfather and conservative, model lawyer grandson could not be greater; we have already seen Dick pleasuring himself to porn and watched Jason's shock response. The chance meeting with Jason's former college photography classmate Shadia (Zoey Deutch, lovely in the Rose Byrne mould) and nymphomaniac sexpot Lenore (Aubrey Plaza, highly entertaining) is the springboard from which everything hinges. What follows is a result of Dick's lusting for Lenore and Jason's attraction for Shadia, the laid-back gypsy girl, who is everything his stitched-up, controlling fiancee, Meredith (Julianne Hough) is not.
The scene in which Efron wakes up naked on the beach wearing nothing but a penis-swastika inked onto his forehead and a G-string adorned with a yellow & black bee phone-holder is a memorable low (and drags on for an eternity), while Dick's never ending rants about having unprotected sex with a hot college girl wear thin. I did laugh at Jason Mantzoukas's hilarious drug dealer Pam, whose cozy relationship with the local cops is the basis of a droll running gag. There is no shortage of talent involved - with Dermot Mulroney well cast as Dick's son and a lively bunch of colourful characters that all play some part in the sordid affair. It's all pretty juvenile with the script delivering some surprises and twists as Grandpa's secrets are revealed and Jason finally sees the light. The whole experience makes you feel rather grubby afterwards; I couldn't wait to soak in the bath.
Email this article
DIRTY GRANDPA (MA15+)
CAST: Robert De Niro, Zac Effron, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney
PRODUCER: Jason Barrett, Bill Block, Barry Josephson, Michael Simkin
DIRECTOR: Dan Mazer
SCRIPT: John Phillips
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eric Alan Edwards
EDITOR: Anne McCabe
MUSIC: Michael Andrews
PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Arnold
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: eOne
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 28, 2016