Dirty Grandpa – Review

Aesthetically pleasing but in reality a waste of time.

Andrew made an excellent point to me the other day; we are in a dark age of comedy. 2015 brought us some good comedies like Trainwreck and apparently The Martian according to the Golden Globes. But really, there hasn’t been many massively memorable comedies in a while. Dirty Grandpa has been heavily promoted everywhere recently, so I actually had reasonably high hopes. Did it live up those expectations?

(© – Lionsgate)

First the plot of Dirty Grandpa. When Jason’s grandmother dies, he is asked to take his grandfather to his annual trip to Florida. Seems harmless, but Jason immediately sees the wild, mental side to his grandpa. From here, chaos ensues.

Jason is played by Zac Efron and his grandpa is played by Robert De Niro. Now I love Robert De Niro, he has starred in some of the best films ever made. In recent years sure he’s starred in some mediocre films such as Little Fockers and The Big Wedding, but he generally shines. And well Zac Efron, he’s had some good films since High School Musical. The two of them together looked like a good combo, did it fully work? Nah, not really.

There are a few moments together where they really hit it off. For example the scene in the trailer where they are together in bed. That scene goes on further and it is the only scene I full on laughed. There are also more serious moments, some of which feel genuine. But that’s about it.

Pretty much how I felt after watching Dirty Grandpa. (© – Lionsgate)

There isn’t enough time to appreciate any sign of chemistry due to a very poorly written script. As well as shoehorned sentimentality, it is filled to the brim with unnecessary swearing and vulgar gags. I mean, I love the ‘f’ word, it’s great. However, there’s only so much it can be used and remain funny. It’s used consistently all the way through, but it added nothing to the value of the script.

Also to note are how shite the supporting cast are. Aubrey Plaza was excellent in Parks and Recreation, but my god she done my nut in throughout Dirty Grandpa. The writers wanted her to be the slutty girl who wanted De Niro, unfortunately she is way over exaggerated and is generally just really disgusting – as well as annoying.

When Lenore (Aubrey) catches De Niro’s eye. (© – Lionsgate)

However, the script isn’t the only problem – the direction is dire. We jump from location to location, party to party, and it all feels like scenes which would have improved the film as a whole have been left out for whatever bloody reason.

To sum it up, Dirty Grandpa isn’t the worst film in the world. There’s a couple of funny scenes, and it is evident Robert De Niro is having fun. However, it’s just not enough to save a film which implodes as the running time goes on. There will be some people out there who will appreciate the film, but it’s just not for me. Here’s a perfect use of the ‘f’ word – Dirty Grandpa is fucking pish.


Check out the trailer here:

Have you seen Dirty Grandpa? Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet @film_swot.

Author: Cameron Frew

Published by

Cameron Frew

Freelance film writer. Words on Flickering Myth, Bloody Disgusting, Movie Corner UK and Jumpcut Online. My five favourite films are: 1. The Goonies 2. Forrest Gump 3. The Shawshank Redemption 4. Warrior 5. Whiplash

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