Director: Dan Mazer
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Audrey Plaza, Zoey Deutch, Julianne Hough, Dermot Mulroney, Jason Mantzoukas
Written by: John Phillips
Running Time: 102 mins
Release date: 25th January 2016
As I sat and watched this lame excuse of a comedy, I felt I was watching the demise of a legend. The final death blows to a career that was sinking badly and has now gone beyond all respect. I am talking about Robert De Niro, a screen giant in the 70’s, 80’s and most of the 90’s. Winner of two Academy Awards, and the star of such classics as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Heat, the list goes on. Now he is seen sitting on a chair, watching porn and masturbating! How the might have fallen.
Dick Kelly has just lost his wife and has decided to live the rest of his life to the full. He decides to go on a road trip, taking his grandson, Jason, with him. Jason, on the verge of marrying, is obviously resistant but goes along anyway, not realising that his grandfather is only out to sleep with young girls at Daytona Beach.
Last year’s excruciatingly bad taste Get Hard seemed to be the lowest pinnacle that a comedy could go. A behemoth of racist, homophobic and sexist jokes that just disgusted more than entertained. This is worst! In the cheapest ways possible, this uses every trick in the book to get its audience laughing, yet doesn’t have the good sense to realise that humour isn’t about constantly using the F-word, or talking about the male member, or a running gag involving De Niro sticking his thumb up his grandson’s backside.
It has taken the depth of bad taste to an all-time low. There is a scene in which Jason, after spending a night smoking crack, ends up naked on a beach with a stuffed bee covering his privates. A young boy comes along and wants to play with his bee. You can imagine the rest. Yes, this is the film where they make child molestation a hilarious set piece. I am, of course, being very sarcastic. I sat in complete shock that not only did this pass any regulations but that anyone could possible find this funny. Sadly, the audience I saw the film with found this to hysterical, which does beg the question as to the moral standing of the general public.
Having jokes about sexual acts would be perfect fine if they were delivered with any sense of timing or understanding of how comedy works. You feel utterly grubby after witnessing this poor excuse of a film in which every person apart from the Grandpa of the title is either a sex object, a junkie or homosexual, so it’s perfectly okay to ridicule or belittle them. One particularly uncomfortable scene involves De Niro performing rap at a club and screaming the N-word.
And so onto the performances. Zac Efron, who has made a succession of poorly judged comedies can certainly add another one to the list. It’s a shame because Efron is a talent and yet he is just wasting it with tripe. Audrey Plaza, who is hilarious in Parks and Recreation, is reduced to being a sex-obsessed female pervert lusting after De Niro, which is incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
Then there’s De Niro, a man who use to stand head and shoulders above everyone else in the screen acting world. I worked it out that since 2000, and the dire The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle, his career has been slowly sinking, as he makes the kind of films even a younger Michael Caine would turn his nose up, because they are that bad (remember that Caine made Jaws: The Revenge and when he has spoken about it, he has said he has never seen the film but seen the house it paid for). Well De Niro must have been paid a massive amount for him to scrape the bottom of the barrel with this.
In a season of outstanding Oscar nominated movies, this stands head and shoulders above them all as being the worst film of the year so far. No. In fact I am going to announce right here, right now, that this is going to be the worst film of the year, period. Maybe the worst film of the decade. Now I need to take another shower because I still feel grubby. Vile.