5/10 I had very low expectations for this movie (a quick view of the trailer would do the same for anybody) and besides his recent collaboration with Martin Scorsese in “The Irishman”, Robert De Niro has spent the last 20 years accepting every terrible script he has been giving and slowly but surely ruining his acting reputation. He has returned to those ways again (thankfully he is about to re-team with Scorsese once more for some momentary relief from these awful types of movies) but until then we are left with “The War with Grandpa”, a ridiculous, dumb, cliché movie but one that actually exceeded my expectations and didn’t end up being nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, this is a dumb movie filled with ridiculous situations and things that would/could never happen and many jokes that are either recycled and/or fall flat. Yet there is a sweetness to the movie with several of the characters that I couldn’t help but be charmed by and despite being dumb, the movie was fun and entertaining to watch. This is definitely something parents could throw on for their kids and the kids would eat this up. The movie has a stacked cast, although no one is pushing their acting abilities with this cookie cutter script. One thing I found interesting was that it was basically the child in the movie who was the antagonist and totally a jerk to his kind, old grandpa. I assumed they would be equally good/bad to each other but the movie leaned heavily into the grandpa trying to broker peace and the grandson rejecting it. There are shades of “Home Alone” here with the pranks being set up in the house except they are fall less dangerous for the most part and I didn’t believe for a second that this kid could set up over half of the things he did. Every element of production from the direction to the cinematography to the editing to the score to the acting was average across the board; getting the job done but in no way excelling. The individual relationships did really work, you could tell everyone had a great time making the movie so the chemistry between everyone was great and the pacing was fantastic. Is this a dumb movie with Oscar winning actors having to stoop to low levels for a paycheck? Yes. But was this a fun, entertaining, surprisingly emotionally satisfying movie as well? Yes. In the end when you average everything out, the movie is completely mediocre. It is ridiculous and dumb but not painfully so. You could definitely do much worse if you are looking for a family movie to watch but you shouldn’t go out of your way to watch this either. Most modern wars aren’t worth fighting and this happens to be one of them.
#AgingBull / #BeatTheGrandParents / #GrudgeMatchMeIfYouCan / #HallsOfFury / #MayTheBestManWin2 / #FamilyFeudTheMovie