I called bullshit on this movie when I first saw the trailer, and “Dirty Grandpa” did not disappoint.
If anything, my expectations weren’t low enough to process the sheer amount of trash and toxic absurdity that steeped every millisecond of this 102-minute desperate act to prove writer John Phillips deserves a place in comedy.
Membership revoked, sir. First, let’s dissect this piece of garbage.
“Dirty Grandpa” stars Robert De Niro as Dick Kelly. A day after his wife’s funeral, he guilts his stick-in-the-mud corporate lawyer grandson Jason, played by Zac Efron, into driving him to Florida.
Though Jason is busy planning his wedding that’s just a week away, he agrees to escort his grandpa.
It’s the perfect setup for a cheesy getting-to-know-each-other-again flick.
But it all turns to shit when Jason arrives at his grandpa’s house and finds the widower masturbating in his living room.
Dick goes from a mourning elderly man to a crude, offensive pervert and it becomes exhausting before they even leave his house.
This journey to pay homage to his late wife soon becomes a sexcursion as Dick pressures Jason into detouring to Daytona Beach in his pursuit to have sex with a foul-mouthed college student played by Aubrey Plaza.
There’s nothing about this film that stands out as unusual.
Grandpa trying to reclaim his youth? De Niro’s already done that in 2013’s “Last Vegas.”
Rowdy, partying college students? May I redirect you to “Van Wilder,” “21 and Over” or Efron’s own “Neighbors” just to name a few.
The characters don’t diverge from the ordinary, either.
Efron’s character is pretty standard — the young man who has been pressured into living his life to meet the expectations of others. He’s stale and boring.
Julianne Hough as Meredith, Jason’s fiancée, is the typical shallow, self-absorbed rich girl and stands no chance for the audience’s favor when we meet Jason’s old classmate, Shadia.
Shadia is “different.” She’s a free spirit who likes to party, and she’s a photographer because you can’t be “different” if you don’t have some kind of artistic talent.
And let’s not forget her efforts to save the Earth because her activism is half of her appeal.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally never met a girl like this.
I mean, wow. A photographer and an activist?
God got a little wild with this one.
And then there’s the grandpa, who is less of a character and more of a vessel for John Phillips to deliver every dicey joke he’s probably been saving since he was writing standup in college.
Dick Kelly is not meant to amuse as much as he is to offend, whether it’s making inappropriate gay jokes or using the N-word.
This movie is practically groveling at the feet of the audience to be found funny. Phillips was trying to push the envelope to its furthest limitations. Instead, he busted it and it’s hard to believe it was an accident because it lasts throughout the entire film.
Phillips’ script managed to insult almost every minority in less than two hours, and its small attempts to reconcile and justify don’t work.
Given the seven-percent rating “Dirty Grandpa” received on Rotten Tomatoes, this old bastard is on its way to an early grave, and no one is going to mourn its loss.