Tim Hill directs The War with Grandpa, a 2020 American family comedy film. The film follows Peter (Oakes Fegley), a little kid who engages in a prank war with his grandfather (Robert De Niro) in order to convince his grandfather to move out of his room once he moves in with his family. It earned mostly unfavorable reviews from reviewers and made $40 million globally on a $38 million production budget. You can stream it on Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Prime.
What Is the Storyline of The War with Grandpa?
Recently widowed Ed Marino is visited by his daughter Sally Marino-Decker, who wants him to move in with her family after mistakenly stealing from a grocery shop owing to having difficulties with the self-checkouts and making a fuss with the store manager.
Ed is adamant about not leaving his home, which he constructed entirely by himself. Despite this, Sally persuades Ed to move in with her and offers him her son Peter’s room. Peter is displeased at being forced to share his room with his grandfather and being sent to the attic. Sally’s husband Arthur and two kids, Mia and Jenny, greet Ed.
Ed spends the most of his first day in his new room, sitting in his chair and gazing at the sky, still thinking about his late wife.
Peter then informs his buddies Billy (Juliocesar Chavez), Steve (Isaac Kragten), and Emma (T.J. McGibbon) of his grandfather’s decision to move in with his family and live in his room. Peter declares war after a horrible first night in his new quarters.
Ed agrees to go to battle as long as they follow the agreed-upon rules of engagement, which include not damaging other people’s property and not informing the family. Peter plays a number of practical jokes on Ed, such as substituting his shaving cream with quick-drying foam and ruining his record player.
Ed retaliates by removing the screws from all of Peter’s furniture and altering his school report, among other pranks. Ed seeks counsel from his buddies Danny (Cheech Marin) and Jerry (Christopher Walken). Ed gradually spends more time with his granddaughters and son-in-law, as well as learning to use new technologies like self-checkouts and apps.
Sally finds out that Mia is dating Russell (Colin Ford), a boy she doesn’t approve of. Ed challenges Peter and his buddies to a game of dodgeball with Jerry, Danny, and Diane (Jane Seymour), a store employee whom Ed has befriended.
The first round is won by Peter and his pals, while the second round is won by Ed and his squad. However, Danny’s jaw gets wounded in the third round, and the game is called a stalemate. Later, Peter activates the emergency call button on Ed’s necklace, and Ed takes him up from school to take him fishing. They learn that fishing is prohibited there. Ed then brings Peter to his old house, where he tells that there are some mysteries hidden inside the walls.
When Ed, Danny, and Jerry find that Peter is being bullied, they toss the bully in the garbage. Peter honors his vow not to commit any pranks during Jenny’s Christmas-themed birthday celebration.
Peter constructs an ejection seat for Ed, who is meant to play Santa that evening. Jerry is mistakenly disguised as Santa as a consequence of a last-minute adjustment. Peter and Ed are requested to assist during the celebration.
Instead, they continue to play practical jokes on each other, such as pouring bottles at each other and Peter shockingly plugging the cable to the lights as Ed checks them. As a result of their shenanigans, they unwittingly disclose their feud to the rest of the world. Jerry is thrown from his chair, causing more property damage and injury to a number of people.
Jenny’s Christmas tree prop crashes onto the house during this, revealing Mia’s secret tryst with Russell and creating a hole in Mia’s chamber. Ed gets hurt and transported to the hospital as a result.
Peter and Mia are placed on “work arrest” for six months as a result of Arthur and Sally’s punishment. Russell arrives, and Sally initially reacts angrily, but then warmly greets him.
When Sally arrives at the hospital to pick up Ed, she discovers that he has already checked out and that his Lyft driver Chuck (Joe Gelchion) has brought him to his old residence. Peter resolves to make apologies and invites Ed to re-join the family.
As Sally listens, the two ultimately reconcile. Ed and Peter appear to be getting along as time goes on, until Ed departs one day to be with Diane, with whom he is now in a relationship. As they go, Peter looks on fiercely and declares war on both of them.
The War with Grandpa: Review
From that now, “The War With Grandpa” escalates up the sabotage and one-upmanship to sub-Fockers levels. A drone, fake shaving foam, a broken record player, and a smashed container of marbles are among the more dangerous pranks (which is a long way to go for a punchline about how Grandpa has lost his marbles). Pete places a snake in Ed’s bed and purposefully activates the life alert device he wears around his neck, summoning emergency services for a false alarm, and the back-and-forth quickly becomes perilous.
(We never witness the ramifications of that decision.) But, apart from the fact that many of these gags are painfully absurd and predictable, such as a trampoline dodgeball duel that plays out precisely as you’d anticipate, “The War With Grandpa” has a meanness about it that contradicts its underlying feel-good ethos. The picture as a whole isn’t strange enough to merit the darker turns it takes, so it settles for a bland and mushy middle ground.
Furthermore, as Ed’s supporting circle of pals, Walken, Marin, and Seymour have little to do but make the odd wisecrack and comment on Ed’s next actions. Thurman’s main feature as Pete’s mother (Laura Marano) and sister (Poppy Gagnon) is that she is usually late. Throughout the film, Riggle is continuously emasculated, whether by a recurrent joke about how he needs his wife’s permission to use a chainsaw or by De Niro dropping his towel in front of Riggle in another horribly unfunny scene.
And Ed, whose presence is the catalyst for the action, appears to be far too good a person to be caught up in it all. It defies logic that he enables this war to escalate in this manner. This isn’t “Dirty Grandpa,” but by comparison, that other De Niro comedy seems a lot better now.
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