Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Uma Thurman, Cheech Marin and Jane Seymour star in the soft comedy “At war with grandpa”.
For the past few years (and I’m nice), Robert De Niro has been accumulating the forgettable roles, appearances in B movies (and I’m nice again) that one can’t help but wonder about the usefulness, “Dirty grandfather ”(2015) constituting the high point of this slow and painful (for us) descent into hell.
The good thing about “At War With Grandpa” is that it is much better than the aforementioned “Dirty Grandpa” … that’s it already, you might say. Because it is not on the side of the scenario, anorexic, that we will find any satisfaction. In one sentence (hard to do more), young Peter (Oakes Fegley) declares war on his grandfather (Robert De Niro) after being forced to give him his room and move to the attic, the patriarch having come to live with her daughter (Uma Thurman), her son-in-law (Rob Riggle) and their two children (Laura Marano plays the girl).
Looking elsewhere than in this agreed and predictable narrative, taken from the eponymous children’s novel by Robert Kimmel Smith, we find a few other (slim) attractions to this 94-minute feature film directed by Tim Hill (whose animated “Hop” was yet very good).
The first is the cast and not the roles, each more ridiculous than the next. Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken (he too has been accumulating them for a while), Jane Seymour and Cheech Marin are always a pleasure to see, since we take the opportunity to remember their past performances … and we rush to watch again the “Kill Bill”, “Journey to the end of hell” and other “Taxi driver”, “Casino” or “Must find the joint”.
Then, some gags of this intergenerational war manage, we do not know by what miracle, to draw short smiles quickly erased by the accumulation of outdated clichés (these cantankerous seniors who do not want to admit their age, among others). But that’s not enough to cheer us up. Far from there.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5