A young boy, distressed that his cherished room has been given to his grandfather while he has to move into the attic, decides to prank the old fellow into moving out. Old fellow pranks back. Things escalate. Home Alone lite ensues.

Robert De Niro is arguably one of history’s top dramatic actors. Comedy, however, has eluded him. Okay, granted, 1982’s terrific The King of Comedy was pretty (and pretty darkly) funny, but that was superbly written, and his character was fully developed. 

Then in 2004 along came Meet the Fockers, where he played a daunting ex-CIA agent father-in-law-to-be. We can only surmise that from this mildly successful farce Bobby assumed that what the world wanted was him to appear in more amiably banal family movies featuring annoying children and ending with flaccid moral platitudes. 

The insanely overqualified cast dragged into this comedic black hole includes Uma Thurman, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour and Rob Riggle. I didn’t once crack a smile, even when Christopher Walken showed up to steal every scene he’s in. Problem is, the scenes are simply not worth stealing. 

Some movies can be described as “forgettable” as soon as they’re over. You may start forgetting this one while it’s still running. (94 min)

The War with Grandpa Japan release date April 23, 2021


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