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Robert DeNiro's 'Dirty Grandpa' is a Soiled Diaper at the Bottom of a Dumpster Fire

By Dustin Rowles | Film | January 22, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | January 22, 2016 |

It’s ironic that It’s Always Sunny would parody bad 80’s boob comedies this week because Robert DeNiro’s Dirty Grandpa feels like a terrible 80’s sex comedy that got lost in a time warp. I don’t know what the hell Robert DeNiro was doing in this, or even Zac Efron, Jason Mantzoukas and Aubrey Plaza, for that matter. It’s not a movie that belongs in theaters; it’s a movie that belongs on an old VHS tape that’s been recorded over half a dozen times and has shitty static lines obscuring half the screen.

If your idea of a good time is watching Robert DeNiro rattle off the N-word, “retard,” make lesbian jokes about Zac Efron and drop terrible gay puns (“Cirque de So Gay”), then you’ll love Dirty Grandpa. Also, you’re a fucking moron. You are a soft-brained skid-mark on the soiled underwear of society.

Adam Sandler’s last decade of movies are more sophisticated than Dirty Grandpa, a lazy road-trip movie that largely entails Robert DeNiro’s Dirty Grandpa character call Zac Efron a series of names that involve butt fucking — forced and consensual — and golf puns. Moreover, no one wants to hear two-time Oscar winner Robert DeNiro crassly say that he wants to “fuck that college girl” every five minutes. You can almost feel DeNiro wince with every line he delivers in the film, as though spitting out jokes like bloody sputum.

That “college girl” he wants to fuck in this case is a character played by Aubrey Plaza, who reciprocates his advances by saying things like, “I want you to stick your shaft in me and ram your balls against my vagina,” which might be kind of hot coming from Plaza if it weren’t so uncomfortably revolting. All due respect to DeNiro, but no one wants to watch him pump his groin into Plaza’s ass, repeatedly stick his thumb up Zac Efron’s butt, or — I’m sorry if this is ageist — watch him stick his half-erect dick in Efron’s face, which is an actual thing that happens in Dirty Grandpa. There is a close-up of the man’s dick (or someone else’s prick purporting to be DeNiro’s). The only thing more cringeworthy in the film is hearing DeNiro karaoke rap lyrics and name check Wu-Tang Clan members to establish cred with black guys who had threatened to beat him up.

DeNiro doesn’t need the paycheck that Dirty Grandpa offers. He probably just wants to stay busy and keep working, and plumb roles for older men are not all that common. But this? It’s humiliating, is what it is. It’s a soulless, embarrassing film without an ounce of wit. It’s aggressively anti-PC which would be fine if it were in the least bit button pushing, or if it were trying to say something meaningful. It has no such designs. It’s egregiously bad. It’s Rob Schneider bad. It’s the kind of film where you feel pity for those involved, as though DeNiro is being taken advantage of by deadbeat children trying to increase their inheritances. The man is 72 years old; he was in Raging Bull and Taxi Driver and The Godfather II. He shouldn’t be jerking off — no, really, jerking off — in a shitty, sophomoric seventh-rate American Pie written for assholes with the cultural IQ of a Farrah Abraham tweet in mind.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.