The War With Grandpa is a family comedy film directed by Tim Hill. The plot sees a boy (Oakes Fegley) and his grandfather (Robert De Niro), go to war over a bedroom, when the grandfather moves in with the family.
The premise of this film is lame, and the tame nature of it stops it from ever doing anything truly memorable as far as the war is concerned. I get that this is a family film, but it feels scared to say word like hell, really? It is the tamest film I have seen in a long while.
The war feels fairly one sided in terms of hearts and minds, as the kid is a brat from the get-go and has no redeeming qualities. The performance by Fegley is woeful and is easily crushed by De Niro, even though this is clearly a paycheck role for him.
De Niro manages to capture quite a lot of good sentimentality and actually hit me in the feels by the end of the film, this is much better than something like Dirty Grandpa as it is far more dignified for him and he gives a fairly good performance. I enjoyed all the nods to De Niro’s gangster films that are peppered in throughout I thought they really added something.
I can’t talk about this film without talking about Uma Thurman. She is the star of this film, even if she only has about twenty minutes of screen time. She is both unintentionally hilarious, and just a joy to watch. When she is on screen hamming up her performance it is always good for a laugh. She was easily my favourite character.
Overall, too tame to be enjoyed by some, schlock for the most part and clearly a paycheck for De Niro, but it does have its moments and Walken and Thurman steal the show.
Some genuine emotion
Too tame, the war doesn’t feel exciting
The kid is an unlikable brat, you don’t feel torn between the two for a second
Reviewed by Luke