Who knew a dodgeball recreation between Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour and a bunch of rowdy youngsters might be so bland?
That’s certainly one of many beige scenes within the new comedy “The War With Grandpa,” a movie that’s each by-the-book and primarily based on a guide, by which a preteen boy will get again at his grandfather for transferring into his room.
That might have been an emotionally involving tussle. At one finish, you may have a younger man, Peter (Oakes Fegley), who’s simply beginning to achieve his independence — represented by the almighty lockable bed room — and on the different, a person in his 70s, Ed (De Niro), whose autonomy is slipping away. Neither actually has real freedom.
This movie dips its toes into that concept, however largely goes gung-ho for recycled old-folks jokes and tame pranks.
Peter formally declares conflict on Ed within the method of our founding fathers: “When in the course of human events one person steals another person’s bedroom, there is no other choice but war,” he writes to gramps. “You have 24 hours to give me back what is mine or face the consequences.”
His punishment is a collection of excessive jinks that “Home Alone” would balk at. Peter sends a remote-controlled toy automobile with a loud radio hooked up to wake Ed, places a rash-causing pores and skin irritant in his shaving cream and tries different such annoyances that aren’t humorous. Director Tim Hill’s model all through is Zen calm, and nothing is jubilant or upsetting, like an Enya music.
Naturally, in good household films, youngsters don’t keep offended at their grandparents for too lengthy, so progressively the duo de-escalates the skirmish and begins bonding. Peter’s mother is performed by Uma Thurman, however that doesn’t matter.
“The War With Grandpa” is a part of a style of movies that takes legendary actors and virtually sands down their edges and ensures they don’t make a robust impression (“Book Club,” “Poms”). I anticipate that form of drudgery from De Niro (for each “Irishman,” he makes 10 “Dirty Grandpa”s), however it’s a disgrace from Walken and Marin, males so recognizable they need to be on postage stamps. Here they’re shells of themselves. And Seymour, who’s attractive as ever, has been unrealistically cast as a grocery store clerk and the movie doesn’t even make a gag out of it.
“Grandpa” is, at the least, not as moronic as a lot of De Niro’s latest résumé. But that’s a low, low bar.