The War With Grandpa

Ed (Robert De Niro); is a man at a turning point in his life. The retired builder and widower is forced to move in with his daughter Sally (Uma Thurman); following an incident at a local store.

This new arrangement is accepted by the entire family with one exception; Peter (Oakes Fegley) who despises the idea of giving up his room to his Grandfather and having to take up residence in the attic. The fact that Peter is starting Middle School adds to the tension as he and his friends are now the target of bullies as well as his older sister whose disdain for him is evident.

Desperate to get his room back; Peter declares war on his grandfather and enters into a series of events designed to harass him into giving up the room so Peter can reclaim what was his. Ed finds the entire thing amusing and his friends Danny (Cheech Marin), and Jerry (Christopher Walken); help him see the bigger picture and support him as Ed gives back even better than he gets. As the conflict escalates’ the stakes become higher and the entire family gets caught up with “The War With Grandpa”.

While it was nice to see such an All-Star cast on the screen they are not given a great deal to do in order to stand out as this is a film that is very much aimed at Middle Schoolers and kids in general. I found the humor more amusing than funny and what really bothered me most was the underlying message of the film. In an era of entitled kids who lack respect; the film basically says it is fine to harass your elders to get what you want and that your needs come before theirs.

This could have been mitigated with some more balanced humor and perhaps a change of heart but as the film unfolds Peter shows just what a self-centered individual he is.

While I wished I could have enjoyed this film more as the premise and cast were great, the lack of laughs and overall message of the film did not work for me making this one for the kids.

2.5 stars out of 5