Dirty Grandpa: Movie Man Jackson


How long does grieving over a soulmate take? Not long if you’re ready to bone. Retired Army General Dick Kelly (Robert De Niro) has just lost his wife of about 40 years to cancer. Most in his family are worried about him, including his grandson, Jason (Zac Efron), a young lawyer who specializes in “LSC agreements and SEC contracts.” Or something like that. Jason’s also a week away from getting married to Meredith (Julianne Hough), who is something of a control freak, but still so perfect for Jason.

Dick and his wife always used to go to Florida around a specific time in the year, and that isn’t changing with her no longer on this Earth. Only issue is, Dick doesn’t have a license, and convinces Jason to drive him. Reluctant, he does so, thinking that Gramps just needs to do this as part of the grieving process. Turns out, this is no grieving trip. Gramps is a Dirty Grandpa, looking to have the single fun he wasn’t afforded when in a union. In the process of trying to hook up with women as young as Jason, Dick hopes to show his grandson that it is never too late to live a little.

de niro

It is acceptance that the months of January and February, known as Dumpuary in some corners, must feature a few stink bombs released in cinemas amid the award hopefuls and previous year holdovers. In 2016 Dumpuary, Dirty Grandpa is one of those stink bombs.

Not all is deplorable, though. With a name like Dirty Grandpa, no confusion is had as to what is to be expected. In fact, yours truly would say that the ‘Dirty’ part in the title doesn’t encapsulate just how crass, blunt, and simple-minded this movie is. OK, that sounded like a huge negative, but in a way…it is sort of a positive. Director Dan Mazer (Da Ali G Show, writer of Borat) certainly has no shame/fear in potentially offending a lot of groups. Every bit of the R rating is utilized and not gone to waste, if that sort of thing counts.


However, using every bit of the R rating does no good if your comedy isn’t funny. Dirty Grandpa struggles to build substantial momentum in the laugh department, and there just isn’t one scene that is standout or ball-busting with the humor. There are a few scenes worth some chuckles, but with little consistency, the crassness begins to feel like cheap laziness at shock value, hoping that it alone will spark some laughs. It doesn’t help that the story and its endgame is seen about 10 minutes in, a love child of The HangoverThe Wedding Ringer, and any road trip movie (for the hell of it, let’s say Sex Drive) ever seen.

Some chemistry is forged with Zac Efron and Robert De Niro, and these two do serve as the highest points of a low flick. Efron isn’t all that different from most of his adult roles, and I’m sure that many scenes he has in this will become gif-ed to the end of time appearing on women’s Pinterest and Tumblr walls. But as he’s shown recently, he has no issue being the butt of jokes. And as the straight man here, he’s privy to tons of them. It is a shame that the writing is so shoddy, because he and De Niro do try hard. Make no mistake, if this aint the rear of De Niro’s filmography, it is close. Still, it does seem like Robert is having fun with the role, and as such, even with the material is falling flat, he draws some enjoyment out of things.

With their chemistry relatively strong, it would have been better to rely on the duo more. Because, Dirty Grandpa may feature the worst cast of supporting characters to appear in a comedy in quite some time, from Aubrey Plaza (horny co-ed), to Julianne Hough (uptight fiancée) and Adam Pally (stoned cousin). They are all unfunny, but they pale in comparison to Jason Mantzoukas, playing a character of “Tan-Pam.” He’s dull as soon as he appears on the screen, and sadly, he stays on the screen way too much.


Despite its stars’ efforts, Dirty Grandpa has little comedic vitality, and no amount of Viagra, Efron, or De Niro can change that. Not worth venturing out of the home into Snowmageddon 2016 to view this.

Grade: D-

Photo credits go to maxim.com, aceshowbiz.com,and filmonic.com.

Follow the Movie Man @MovieManJackson

16 thoughts on “Dirty Grandpa: Movie Man Jackson

  1. Oh my God, this looks ssooo bad. Oh Robert De Niro, what were you thinking? How the great have fallen? :_(

    P.S. You’re right, the title “Dirty Grandpa” doesn’t leave much to the imagination to what this movie’s going to be about 😛

  2. I have not seen this yet, so I cannot comment, but you wrote a great review nonetheless 🙂 How much do you want to bet that when this title was first announced (before casting began of course), everybody thought that it was going to be a sequel to Bad Grandpa with Johnny Knoxville? Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  3. Okay, I would just like to put it out there that Robert DeNiro is garbage now. The day has officially arrived when he stars in a movie with Jason Mantzoukas in it, and that’s enough for me to want to burn the entire cinema down. Believe it or not I was actually willing to give this a go but by the sounds of it the film fails on most fronts and because of the events of the last couple of days in my life I was looking for a decent (if not good) pick-me-up. Doesn’t sound like this pathetic piece of crap is it.

    I’m sorry for your loss (of hard-earned money). 😉

    1. I saw that man. My condolences to you and yours, and for what it is worth, I’ve said a few prayers.

      As for this movie, please stay away. As I mentioned, I actually did like Efron and De Niro, but they have nothing to work with. And, I wasn’t playing when I said that the supporting cast was one of the worst I’ve ever seen in a comedy. Could it be possible that Fifty Shades of Black could be better than this?

      1. Thanks so much for that man, it’s been tough but I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love here so that definitely helps.

        This movie I’ll avoid bit I have to say, Fifty Shades of Black….and I can’t believe I’m about to say this……looks like it could be pretty amusing. I mean, who doesn’t love a spoof of Fifty Shades of Gay?

  4. Ouch.. I’ve rarely seen you give this low of a grade.. thankfully I made a conscious decision not to see this one..though in all honestly I don’t mind Efron at all and well..De Niro..helloo.. but just couldn’t really make the time to see it either.. I’ll wait for a cable watch! 😀

    1. Just wait until cable!
      De Niro and Efron aren’t the problem in my opinion, but the story and the horrid side characters are. I’ve give low grades before, look at Big Game from last year as well as Self/less haha!

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