One of the cinematic staples has always been the road trip film. As Hollywood blossomed around the proliferation of the automobile industry, we’ve been fascinated with the thought of traveling across the country while hijinks ensued. We have had quite a few known classics spring from this genre, and it looks like the industry isn’t ready to pass on this long used setup for story, as evidenced by the recent release of DIRTY GRANDPA, starring Zac Efron and Robert Deniro.
After the loss of his grandmother, Jason Kelly (Efron) is tasked with driving his grandfather from Atlanta, GA down to Boca Raton, FL. Per Google Maps, this drive should take approximately 8.5 hours. So surely, Jason will be back in time to continue the planning for his upcoming wedding, right? If you have seen ANY road trip film, then you know this answer.
After a long, dedicated marriage to his wife that had finally succumbed to a 10 year battle with cancer, Jason’s grandfather, Dick (Deniro), decides to get back into the scene to ensure that parts of him that have been unused for many years get to enjoy themselves before he passes on. Yes, that’s a nice way of saying that he just wants to get his dick wet. To quote him: “I want to fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” Well, there went the slightest possibility of a PG-13 with that single line.
To be totally blunt, this film is crass. It blatantly focuses on drugs, swearing, explicitly talking about sex, and poking fun at racial and sexual epithets. With that in mind though, and if you aren’t easily offended, then you should have a blast. Deniro looked to be truly having fun with this role, as he was an example of being a bad ass at whatever age, and he was able to exercise his comedic chops. As the tortured straight man of the tale, Efron does his best to distance himself from his NEIGHBORS role, while embracing the corporate lawyer stick-up-his-ass mentality.
Other stand outs are Julianne Hough as Jason’s Bridezilla-to-be. The Dancing With The Stars star tears into her role, being as domineering as possible, while still revealing just a little bit of what Jason originally saw in her as well. And as the potential grandpa bangee (that’s a word now) is Parks and Recreation’s Audrey Plaza. Plaza has never shied away from blue comedy, in fact, she revels in it. So her talents are put to good use to the point where even the characters on screen question if she’s gone too far. And whenever you can add Jason Mantzoukas to a cast, you know that you are adding in a manic whirlwind of inappropriateness.
To give you a further idea of the depravity involved, my review screener arrived packaged in a police evidence bag. Included in the bag, was the unrated Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy, a bikini top from H&M, a card with themed cocktail recipes, an extra large condom, and breath mints concealed in a pill bottle labeled as performance enhancers known as “Dick’s Little Helpers.”
The unrated version of the film has 7 more minutes of runtime. And the Blu-Ray also includes a gag reel, a featurette based on Mantzoukas’ character, and “Lessons in Seduction.” It also shares special features on the DVD version such as a making of, a featurette about Daytona Beach, as well as audio commentary from the filmmakers.
To review: Crass and offensive? Check. Filled with sex? Check. Drug and alcohol use? Check. Humor towards older people? Check. Laugh out loud lines of dialogue? Check and double check. I had an absolute blast watching it roll out, tropes and all, as the humor stayed consistent throughout.
How my review copy arrived: