From the highest of opinions, let’s go back to hell. To a shit comedy.
We are following Zac Efron as…fuck it, he’s Zac Efron, his character’s name doesn’t matter. So Efron is a week away from marrying his control-freak girlfriend when his grandmother dies and his grandfather, played by Robert De Niro, asks Efron to drive him down to Boca Raton from Atlanta around the time of the year he used to go with his late wife. When Efron shows up to De Niro’s house to pick him up…well he’s jerking off to porn, drinking heavily, and ready to live like a frat boy. Thus begins a road trip to last the ages…or for the hour and a half you’re stuck watching this bullshit.
Goddamn, why does Hollywood feel the need to dumb their worst comedies in January and February? Every goddamn year is the same shit, and this movie is no different. This is the opposite side of the fecal comedy coin from Fifty Shades of Black, here the plot makes sense and the jokes are built around the situation, but the jokes are absolute possum jism. No, I mean actual jism jokes. This movie’s version of “comedy” is to say as much vulgar shit as it possibly could.
Here’s a few samples of the jokes thrown around: “I’d rather let Queen Latifah shit in my my mouth from a fucking hot air balloon;” “I want to fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck;” and “Maybe you can use it to hit your balls into my vagina.” Now, one or two of these jokes thrown in there gave me a chuckle, but the movie does not fucking quit with a string of these jokes so you start getting numb. Every line of dialogue, bar none, has been altered to include as much cursing or come jokes as it possibly could. If you were listening to it for five minutes, sure you’d enjoy it and be on your day. But if it’s all fucking day for over an hour? You start to get annoyed as hell.
So if this dialogue gets annoying, it really fucks with the characters. Now, in most dark comedies like Bad Santa, The League, or Bad Grandpa (different movie and no relation), you have thoroughly unlikable characters. But they are so assholish, so utterely detestable that they are beyond normal social interaction, you can’t help but want to see what boundary they are willing to cross next. Where Dirty Grandpa fucks up is that the movie is trying to get you to like Robert De Niro and Zac Efron, and you never cocking do.
When De Niro starts his horny rampage, I was following it just fine and wondered why critics were hating on him so hard. But he quickly became a one-note joke with the same exact sex joke thrown around over and over again. Then it all fell apart towards the end when it comes to light that he wasn’t a good father because he was busy being a special forces agent, and that his quest to fuck a college girl is all because he hadn’t had sex in 15 years while he patiently waited for his wife to pass so as to be loyal to her. Fuck that shit. You are either Emperor Asshole or Mr. Nice Guy, anything in between is just irritating. And like I said, the dialogue makes De Niro such a bastard that it makes it impossible to sympathize with him even when the film begs you to do so.
Efron doesn’t fare much better. At the very least he’s exuding every amount of charisma he can, and to his credit, I can’t fault him for being a bad actor. No, I just fucking hated him because his character is so useless. His whole purpose is to be a spineless punching bag pushed around by his domineering fiance and overbearing father, so the film is about him cutting loose and becoming free from these forces thanks to the shenanigans of his grandfather. Trouble is that the only way to think for himself and not his fiance or dad is to follow the orders of his crazy grandfather…you see how this doesn’t fit? Not helping is that he’s just plain unlikable. Efron acts with a stick up his ass for large swathes of the film until parties hard while high and drunk as hell.
While some of his scenes made me chuckle, they never sustained a good laugh rhythm; so when he goes back to being an annoying uptight prick, I couldn’t laugh at any of his jokes as said prick. Some characters, like the one played Jason Mantzoukas (Rafi from The League….playing Rafi from The League) try to help him along with the more outrageous gags, but they just fall flat and don’t connect. Meanwhile, other characters, like the one played by Aubrey Plaza, are just there to spout as much out of place and nonsensical dick jokes that the film just becomes an exercise in how much it can piss you off.
The problems with this movie begin and end with the director. De Niro and Efron aren’t great in this, but I can at least recognize they were trying to make this bullshit work. I cannot say the same for Dan Mazer, who’s only notable previous directing effort is from Da Ali G Show in 2003. Maybe these jokes would have connected with me when I was a dumbass kid in high school or even a freshman in college, but this humor just grated me.
This is slightly better than Fifty Shades of Black which offended me for being an absolutely unfunny piece of crap, but this is just plain lazy. No effort went in to get a good flow going on making you laugh, it was just firing one shock joke at you after another. By the end, you don’t give a shit and I highly doubt I’m going to recall this in a week from now. Skip this completely, because this is…
SOME OL’ BULLSHIT