Robert DeNiro will not stop making terrible movies no matter what anyone says. He’s now signed to star in “War with Grandpa,” his second movie with the word Grandpa in the title in a year. The first one was “Dirty Grandpa,” which had an 11 rating on RottenTomatoes. Eleven.
DeNiro is currently starring in “Hands of Stone,” which has struggled to earn $5 million at the box office. He goes a very good job in it, but the movie has not connected with audiences.
“War with Grandpa” is not directed by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, or David O. Russell, or any other ‘name’ director. It’s by someone named Tim Hill, whose last feature credit is for a TV movie called “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” made in 2014. He is best known as the creator and writer of the “SpongeBob Square Pants” TV series.
As the unofficial president of the Robert DeNiro fan club, I am chagrined. For every decent film DeNiro makes, there are five like this one. There is “Analyze This,” but also “Analyze That.” There’s “Meet the Parents,” plus the two sequels. “Grudge Match”? “Heist”? “The Bag Man”? Hello? “The Big Wedding”? “The Family”? The list goes on and on.
Even when the movie is bad, DeNiro is good. And when the movie is a surprise and DeNiro is top notch– as in “Silver Linings” or “Joy”– it’s a pleasure to see him. But these terrible films now weigh down the Oscar winner’s really great films with Scorsese, Michael Mann (“Heat”), Barry Levinson (sublime “Wag the Dog”), Nancy Meyers (the charming “The Intern”) and so on.
DeNiro should be spending this time of his career working with great writers and directors, making important films. “The War with Grandpa”? Please, no.