Plot: What’s it about?
While not official, I suppose the days of Robert DeNiro delivering quality films are long gone. What would compel the actor to take on a role such as this is beyond me. Here, DeNiro plays Dick Kelly who needs to take a trip after the death of his wife. He enlists his grandson Jason (Zac Efron) to do this. Jason has a bit on his plate as he’s engaged, but still decides to make the trip with his grandpa. While the trip should be simple and without issues, there are plenty of mishaps along the way. The role here isn’t really a stretch for Efron who seems to continually star in this sort of film. In fact, as of this writing, Neighbors 2 is arriving in theaters this weekend. Still, one would think he’d have a bit of better judgement than to star in this turd. DeNiro’s presence here is more puzzling and less excusable
There are very few surprises here as the film follows a formulaic plot from beginning to end. Expect plenty of lowbrow jokes as well as a cameo or two. Nothing here is even remotely amusing, and is kind of just pathetic. If the film weren’t so terribly unfunny, it might be offensive to some. As it stands, it’s simply a big waste of talent. There’s a moment of wit here and there, but it’s all surrounded by endless profanity and gross out jokes. Had this movie played up the contrast to the DeNiro character and the Efron character there might’ve been some comedy gold here. Instead, it settles for the lowest common denominator and goes for easy laughs. Gross and unfunny, Dirty Grandpa is a waste of time and talent.
Video: How’s it look?
If you wanted to see more definition in Zac Efron’s chest or more wrinkles in DeNiro’s forehead, well…you’re in luck! The 2.40:1 HEVC 4K image does improve upon the Blu-ray’s image quality, albeit not by a lot. The film might suck, but at least the transfer is nice. I sometimes run out of ways to say something looks nice, but all the pros are here. Solid colors, clean print, strong details. This won’t be a demo disc, but it presents the film as nicely as it could, I suppose.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Another technical upgrade is the addition of a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Admittedly, this one has a few moments when it really does pay itself off. There are some examples of truly dynamic audio (a party scene comes to mind). The surrounds do get some usage, but this is mostly a front driven film. Still, vocals are strong and clear with no issues. Some of the parry scenes add to the track as well. We get plenty of background banter among other things. This track presents the film nicely.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- The Filthy Truth: The Making of Dirty Grandpa – Your standard “making of…” featurette with the usual faire: interviews with the cast and crew as well as some behind the scenes footage.
- Daytona Heat – This shows a bit of the lighter side of the crack police force as portrayed in the film.
- Lessons in Seduction – A look at the Lenore (Aubrey Plaza) character and some of her intentions…
- I Got Nothin’ to Hide: A Look at Daytona’s Most Vibrant Drug Dealer – A more in-depth look at the character of Tan Pam (Jason Mantzoukas).
- Gag Reel – Shenanigans on the set!
The Bottom Line
The 4K image and Atmos sound can make the movie look and sound better, but it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Dirty and unfunny, Dirty Grandpa is simply a waste. I fail to see what the stars, especially DeNiro saw in this dud. Though the technical merits are generally above average, that means little if the movie itself, well, sucks. Skip it. Add to that, you lose the unrated version of the film along with the commentary track. I can’t see why anyone would want to “upgrade” here.