This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing Robert De Niro as he goes one-on-one with his grandson in "The War With Grandpa."
Robert De Niro is no stranger when it comes to playing grandfathers. He's done it before in the Meet the Parents movies. Then he did it in the atrociously laugh-free Dirty Grandpa and now he plays another one in The War With Grandpa.
This is a supposed family comedy with frustratingly unfunny scenes and a cookie cutter plot that's been done to death and offers nothing new or fresh or, you guessed it, funny. I may have to repeat that again.
De Niro plays Ed, a man forced to move back in with his daughter and her family after having a series of mishaps due to senility. Uma Thurman and Rob Riggle are his daughter and son-in-law.
His two granddaughters are excited about the news, but his grandson Peter (Oakes Fegley) is not. Little Peter is forced to give up his room and move to the attic and that doesn't sit well with him.
Peter makes a declaration of war with grandpa and together the two engage in an endless series of pranks and stunts that involve shaving cream, false cookies, and a snake for good measure.
Wanting to even the odds, Ed calls in for some outside help. Cheech Marin and Christopher Walken costar as his best friends and they try to take down Peter and his little friends. The ensuing hijinks only further de-escalate the movie into embarrassing ridiculousness.
De Niro looks lazy, tired, and desperate in nearly every scene and I think he knows the material doesn't work in the slightest.
On top of De Niro, Thurman, Marin, and even Christopher Walken look like they're taking the roles for a paycheck and they look like they would rather be anywhere else.
I didn't laugh once. The humor consists of pranks and slapstick that are either eye-rolling or cringeworthy and the plot does nothing but sink the actors into a new low at every turn.
Last year, De Niro was in two of the year's best films: Joker and The Irishman. He proves he still has talent and why he has endured for so long. However, that seems to be totally absent from start to finish with this mess if a comedy.
Did I mention it wasn't funny? Not only does this movie lose the battle, but also the war.
(Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor, and language.)