Director: Tim Hill
Screenplay: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember
Production: Marvin Peart, Rosa Morris Peart, Phillip Glasser
Genre: Family Comedy
Release Date: 9th October, 2020
Release In: Theatres
Star Cast: Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Oakes Fegley, Laura Marano, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, Faizon Love
Forced to give up his room to his grandfather (Robert De Niro) when he moves in to the house of his parents (Uma Thurman and Rob Riggle), a scheming boy (Oakes Fegley) devises a series of outrageous pranks in an attempt to make him move out, but the grandfather fights back with some pranks of his own and assistance from his friends.
The film is about a young boy who works to get his grandfather to move out of his room after he moves in with his family. The last time Oscar winners Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken appeared together onscreen, they were playing a tragic game of Russian roulette in the classic 1978 film The Deer Hunter.
The film is appropriately funny and it promotes the value that a relationship with their grandparents can add to kids' lives. In the film, Peter's tactics come off more mean-spirited on screen than probably on the page. His ‘pranks’ cause many accidents for Grandpa and his elderly friends, including electrocution and falls that in real life would cause broken bones, cracked skulls, or even death. A recurring joke involves Peter's older sister being caught kissing her boyfriend and the older characters have a couple of jokes about drinking.
In the end there is no real rivalry as it is clear both grandfather and grandson have much love for each other and no one is put in harm’s way, although blowing up Walken’s stint as a party Santa Claus comes close.
The film is all about the good fun. It’s interesting to note that it took three years to finally hit the screen , this one from 101 Studios in partnership with Brookdale Studios is getting a wide theatrical release in over 2000 theatres starting today. And if that was not enough, there’s also an ad campaign celebrating the actual movie going experience which makes The War With Grandpa worthwhile.
For her part, Uma Thurman appears to be in an entirely different film, playing her usual brilliant self as she strives to push her character who is a mother caricature, to different levels. Whether she’s dipping into her fierce seemingly evident made-up voice to admonish her children or smiling emptily over her embroidery, Thurman seems to be having her own fun in her own made up world. De Niro is more at ease with the not-so-intense dialogues and acting opposite children.
The child actor has matched well enough next to a legendary actor like Robert De Niro. With other professionals like Walken and Seymour on hand, the supporting cast is way better than the side actors in other such light comedy movies. Teen pop star, Laura Marano does nicely as the crazy teen daughter Mia, and gets a song over the end. Based on Robert Kimmel Smith’s popular 1984 kids’ book, director Tim Hill (Hop, Alvin And The Chipmunks) and writers Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember have done a nice job doing justice to it.
Although the humour in the film will sometimes seem too sluggish and slapstick, but it’s the primary glue that holds this loosely weaved plot together and makes it a at least one time watch!