Sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) is pretty much your average kid. He loves gaming, hanging out with his friends and his beloved pair of Air Jordans. But when his recently widowed grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in with Peter’s family, the boy is forced to give up his most prized possession of all, his bedroom.
I think we can all agree that it’s been a difficult year, to say the least, and sometimes we need some escapism. We’ve recently seen films that reflect, that state of the world and how we feel, however they’ve been stories with a very serious or horrific tone and rightly so. Nonetheless, what about the little things, the silly things? I’m sure many of us have had family members move into our houses or we’ve been the one that’s moved, especially right now. While you love them, it can also be a burdensome situation, especially if someone is forced to now share their room or be moved to a basement or attic. Not only is this a relatable situation, but from the outside looking in, it could be rather entertaining. This is where The War With Grandpa comes in. It’s a fun and lighthearted family-friendly movie that is perfect for right now.
Filled with an A-list cast including, Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, and more, this movie has faces that everyone will recognize. Based on the award-winning book of the same name, The War With Grandpa offers a simplistic plot that entertaining and heartfelt at times. We’ve all watched prank staged prank wars on YouTube but what happens when it’s real? With positive messaging about family and its comical mischief, it’s a cute movie that is hard not to like. It’s a battle between generation, I was in the war, versus generation, war is played out on PlayStation and they’re playing dirty. It’s a tad odd to see De Niro, Walken, and Uma Thurman in roles that are very opposite of what we know them for but that’s part of what makes it funny. There are a few scenes that paid homage to some of those characters, that I rather enjoyed. At times it does feel like the movie is going in a few different directions and doesn’t quite know what should be the focus but when it comes down to it, it’s honestly about the relationship between grandfather and grandson. Overall, The War With Grandpa is a decent movie. It’s a fun break from reality that we could all use right about now. Its rewatchability is medium.
Plot & Pace
Now a widower, Ed is having a difficult time handling it all, along with his age. His daughter shows up and convinces him that he should move in with her and her family. While they have room, grandpa coming means that someone has to give up their room and move to the attic. That someone is Ed’s grandson, Peter and he is not happy with the decision. The now sixth grader already feels like he’s at the bottom of the totem pole at school but now he feels the same in his own home. After being convinced by his friends, Peter declares war on his grandpa for the control of his room that his grandfather now inhabits. The pace of the movie moves rather quickly, almost too quickly as things escalate very fast with very little reasoning. However, because of the type of movie it is, you may not need everything to be contextualized.
Characters & Chemistry
While it has a star-studded cast, the movie focuses on Ed (Robert De Niro) and Peter (Oakes Fegley). Seeing them go back and forth, trying to figure out ways to torment each other was rather entertaining. Ed, the wily veteran plays to the level of his opponent. If you go at him at a full one hundred percent, he’s reciprocating that same energy. Peter only knows full-throttle and since he started the war, he’s determined to finish it. All the pranking eventually led to some heartfelt moments that provided the vast majority of the chemistry in the movie. Also, little Jennifer (Poppy Gagnon) is a special gem that provides heart and laughter.
The War With Grandpa releases in theaters today, October 9th. Enjoy and stay safe.
Director: Tim Hill
Writers: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Robert Kimmel Smith (Author)
Runtime: 1h 34m
Rating: 3 out of 5