Be careful what you wish for. Yes movie theaters in Michigan are re-opening this weekend, but you'd have to be crazy or quite desperate if you're going to take that calculated risk just to see "The War with Grandpa." It's one of the worst films of the year and one of the worst screenplays in several years.
No, "The War with Grandpa" isn't referring to the conversation you're going to have with your aging relative over this year's Thanksgiving table. It's a new family-friendly comedy pitting a young boy (Oakes Egley) against his grandfather (Robert De Niro). After the child is forced to give up his room to the crotchety old-timer, the two go head-to-head in a series of increasingly implausible and unfunny pranks that painfully make this 94-minute dud feel like an eternity.
The jokes are lame and telegraphed and the acting is bottom-of-the-barrel...De Niro's performance here makes his 2016 turd "Dirty Grandpa" look like "Raging Bull." When you consider that this film's director, Tim Hill, is responsible for films like "Muppets in Space," "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" and "Max Keeble's Big Move," one can start to put "The War with Grandpa" into the proper context (Hill is also directing the upcoming "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run," which had been delayed into 2021).
De Niro gets to share the screen with some old pals like Christopher Walken and Cheech Marin, both of whom have never been worse. In fact, without De Niro and these other big names attached, "The War with Grandpa" might have been a film you would find in the bottom of a bargain barrel at your local Wal-Mart...instead, it will ask you to spend your money and take your kids to a movie theater in the midst of a global pandemic. Hilarious and totally worth it, right?!?
If ever there was a reason for movie theaters to stay permanently closed, it's "The War with Grandpa."
Genre: Comedy, Family.
Run Time: 1 hour 34 minutes.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Oakes Fegley, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, Laura Marano.
Directed by Tim Hill (upcoming "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run," "Hop," "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Muppets from Space").
"The War with Grandpa" opens theatrically on Friday, October 9th, 2020.
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