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The young lawyer Jason (Zac Efron) is about to marry the control-seeking Meredith (Julianne Hough). This would not only guarantee him a partnership in the renowned law firm of his future father-in-law, but also perhaps finally the respect of his father David (Dermot Mulroney). But in the middle of the stressful wedding preparations Jason is supposed to drive his grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) to Daytona. Since Jason is convinced that he is doing Dick, who has just lost his wife, a favor, he reluctantly agrees to the trip. But the widower does not want to forget his grief while playing golf. No, he wants to have a good time at Spring Break and finally have sex again. And by the way, he wants to keep his grandson from making the biggest mistake of his life. Thus begins a wild road trip that threatens to end in a catastrophe for Jason…
Before making his feature film debut as a director with the comedy "Das hält kein Jahr", Brit Dan Mazer & Co.a. as scriptwriter responsible for the "Ali G. Show" and the movies "Borat" and "Brüno". Disrespectful and often obscene humour below the belt line is no new territory for Mazer. But as crude as his gags were in these works, they were always accompanied by a certain satirical cleverness through which Sacha Baron Cohen's art figures achieved such a high cult status. Now, with his latest directorial work "Dirty Grandpa", Mazer again moves into the lower humor regions. But this time every sign of cleverness and charm is missing, so that in the end only one long penis joke remains.
It might be quite amusing at the beginning to see a renowned star like the two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro as a permanently horny grandpa, who wants to show his bourgeois grandson how to really enjoy life. But after ten minutes at the latest, the constant scolding is simply tiresome and embarrassing. Mazer skilfully avoids every opportunity he has to let the humor play above the belt line. In the script, every word that is not a synonym for penis or sexual intercourse seems to have been deleted. There are scenes in which this works and is quite funny. But for a 100 minutes long movie this is just way too little. But it only gets really embarrassing when you try to convey something like a moral towards the end. When Dick and David finally speak out after many years of silence, it's a slight nausea in the midst of a very vulgar environment. This is really bad.
"Dirty Grandpa" is - even if it might sound like it - not an absolute disaster. There are some quite successful aspects, such as the very special relationship of a dealer with the local police. This is so wonderfully stupid, it's funny again. But overall Dan Mazer has allowed most of the possibilities for a witty, clever multi-generation comedy to pass in favour of extremely flat and unfunny sex jokes from the bottom drawer. And that's really very, very unfortunate because of the actual talent in front of and behind the camera. Therefore there is at the end only with clear reservations a hesitant one: Conditionally worth seeing!
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