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War With Grandpa, The | Showtimes, Movie Tickets & Trailers | Landmark  CinemasReview

The War with Grandpa (Family, Comedy) (2020)


Director: Tim Hill

Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Robert Kimmel Smith (Based on book by)

Stars: Robert DeNiro, Uma Thurman, Oakes Fegley, Christopher Walken

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As Sally’s grandfather is ageing, certain things become a struggle as he even refuses to pay for his groceries due to being unable to figure out self-checkout machines at his local supermarket. To make things easier on both him and his family, Sally (Uma Thurman) and Arthur (Rob Riggle) arrange it so that their only son Peter (Oakes Fegley) moves to his new room in the attic whilst his Grandpa Ed (Robert DeNiro) gets his old room. Peter is soon persuaded by his classmates to wage war against his grandfather and get his room back.

With a simple premise The War With Grandpa stands out as a typical family/comedy, there is a lot of heart-warming and yet campy humour to this film but it sets up the conflict between Peter and his grandfather Ed in such a way that it works without being overly absurd. Farce and ideocracy are not anything new to director Tim Hill who has been a mainstay for writing episodes for the Nickelodeon original series: Spongebob SquarePants. While it might be something entirely different to shoot a live-action film, the director certainly has the chops for it.

To go even further; The War with Grandpa could quite possibly be the next family blockbuster, it has a fantastic cast featuring: Robert DeNiro, Uma Thurman and Cheech Martin to name a few, adding to that we’re graced by the presence of Rob Riggle a comedy mainstay since the early 2000s.

There is a balance between the jokes, gags and comedic segments and genuine lessons. These moments where grandfather Ed takes his time to teach his grandson a bit about how wars were waged in the past, along with several endearing underlying messages. Highlights are featuring Uma Thurman getting in some trouble on the road due to the war brewing inside her own home and Rob Riggle’s character seeing some things he would rather not see, you’d say you couldn’t go wrong. The War with Grandpa feels somewhat reminiscent to Home Alone with the pranks similar in planning and execution to the traps in the Christmas classic even if to a lesser extent. Newer film Going in Style also comes to mind, at least for the bits with DeNiro, Cheech Marin and Walken.

It was good to see how the creators chose to escalate the pranks building up to a large ending set- piece that made for a gratifying ending. Truly a solid effort by the actors and I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Easily accessible to young families with children, this film serves as that, but it might be a lot harder to enjoy for those, not in that specific target audience. Simplicity is a blessing and a curse as you don’t get much of a laugh throughout this one, it’s all just a bit stale and mediocre.

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Let's check out the actual wars Grandpa has been in, this one is child’s play.