Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The SWITCH team have all the reviews for the best films of Sydney Film Festival 2021 - click here to read now!x
review, The War with Grandpa, The, War, with, Grandpa, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Oakes Fegley, Laura Marano, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, T.j. McGibbon, Isaac Kragten, Tim Hill, Comedy, Drama, Family film rating

THE WAR WITH GRANDPA

★★★

A FORGETTABLE BUT FUN FAMILY FEUD

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
30th November 2020

Uma Thurman, Robert de Niro, Christopher Walken. All Oscar-winning or nominated actors. So what are these people all doing in the same family film? That's the conundrum that lured me in to 'The War with Grandpa'; if you've seen the advertising material for the film, you'll be equally puzzled. But put those concerns aside - while far from perfect, this is a step up from the drab straight-to-download releases we've endured this year.

Peter (Oakes Fegley, 'Pete's Dragon', 'Wonderstruck', 'This is Where I Leave You') gets booted out of his room when his ageing grandpa Ed (Robert de Niro, 'The Irishman', 'Taxi Driver') comes to stay with his family. Peter declares war on his grandpa in an attempt to force him to forfeit the room, and it's not long until their pranks and practical jokes escalate into all-out warfare. As the two battle it out, can they keep the rest of the family out of the line of fire?

This film is loosely based on a book of the same title by Robert Kimmel Smith - and I say loosely for two reasons. Firstly, the children's book sees Peter and grandpa sharing the same room. In the adaptation, Peter gets to move into the attic while his two sisters are forced to share a room; isn't having the attic to yourself every kid's dream? Secondly, the on-screen warfare is very different to the book - partially due to the fact that it was released in 1984. The skirmish here involves a fair share of high-tech attacks, including Ed somehow hacking into his grandson's video game despite being unable to operate an iPad. Most of the pranks are fairly low-key - that is, until the offensive escalates at a birthday party, offering a pretty spectacular end to the film's second act.

'THE WAR WITH GRANDPA' TRAILER

De Niro has a very PG-rated 'Meet the Parents' vibe throughout this film, and genuinely seems to be enjoying himself. This mightn't be the most creative or challenging project, but he doesn't seem to be acknowledging of the fact; the sign of a truly great actor is an unwillingness to compromise on quality regardless of the material. Although in a much smaller role, Uma Thurman ('Kill Bill', 'Pulp Fiction') as Peter's mum - and Ed's daughter - has a few scene-stealing moments, Although it may seem like an odd choice of role for Thurman given her limited cinematic appearances of late, she pulls off the slightly crazy, overprotective mum role with gusto. While Fegley has a charm that works for Peter, there are scenes that rest on his shoulders which certainly highlight his inexperience.

It's a reasonably unique setup, which is what makes the film as watchable as it is, and ensures the story never becomes too predictable. Still, it's not laugh-out-loud funny or witty or even particularly cleverly written; a little refining of the script really could have taken the final product from something good to something great. The script clearly lacks a main character - despite being titled 'The War with Grandpa', we follow family members from different generations on their daily journeys, all with somewhat different tones applied to their stories. Ironically, the weakest part of the film is when we're tracking Peter and his friends, when the writing is the weakest and all too frequently childish. Perhaps a more honed perspective would have tightened the story's focus.

This mightn't be the most creative or challenging project, but de Niro doesn't seem to be acknowledging of the fact; the sign of a truly great actor is an unwillingness to compromise on quality regardless of the material.

But you know what? Forget about all of that. Sit down, let the screen light up and enjoy the distraction. This is an amazing collection of actors having a bit of fun with a script that's something a little different. In a year where we have had some serious stinkers, you could do considerably worse than 'The War with Grandpa'. This is definitely the kind of film you'll watch once with the family, then forget it ever existed. Still, it's not a bad way to spend 94 minutes forgetting about what's going on outside the cinema doors.

FAST FACTS
AKA: War With Grandpa
RELEASE DATE: 03/12/2020
RUN TIME: 1h 34m
CAST: Robert De Niro
Uma Thurman
Christopher Walken
Jane Seymour
Oakes Fegley
Laura Marano
Rob Riggle
Cheech Marin
T.j. McGibbon
Isaac Kragten
DIRECTOR: Tim Hill
WRITERS: Tom J. Astle
Matt Ember
PRODUCERS: Phillip Glasser
Marvin Peart
Rosa Morris Peart
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Britannia III - A new and dark force
TRENDINGWIN BRITANNIA IIIA new and dark force
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion howls back onto the big screen
TRENDINGWIN THE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion howls back onto the big screen
Revisiting the 'Harry Potter' series - 20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
TRENDINGREVISITING THE 'HARRY POTTER' SERIES20 years with the groundbreaking fantasy epic
Eternals - Packing too much into the MCU
TRENDINGETERNALSPacking too much into the MCU
The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
TRENDINGTHE POWER OF THE DOGJane Campion returns with a magnificent epic on the human heart
Love You Like That - Love is in the air - and it's crazy
TRENDINGLOVE YOU LIKE THATLove is in the air - and it's crazy
Sydney Film Festival 2021 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2021The reviews
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Grab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
TRENDINGTHE EYES OF TAMMY FAYEGrab a Diet Coke - this biopic is truly blessed
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Sorry, Wrong Number - An inventive slice of 1940s film noir
TRENDINGSORRY, WRONG NUMBERAn inventive slice of 1940s film noir
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series - Sketches at a revolution
TRENDINGMONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: THE COMPLETE SERIESSketches at a revolution
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
The First Wives Club - Sisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
TRENDINGTHE FIRST WIVES CLUBSisters are still doin' it for themselves 25 years later
PAW Patrol: The Movie - The pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
TRENDINGPAW PATROL: THE MOVIEThe pups' first theatrical mission is barking with joy
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!