THE WAR WITH GRANDPA
Humor, sight gags and Robert De Niro keep this family comedy moving along. Based on Robert Kimmel Smith's novel of the same name, the screenplay by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember dives quickly into "Home Alone" territory. The pranks come fast and furious, with many being malicious. Director Tim Hill ("Hop") does manage to lighten things up around the mayhem while delivering a heartfelt message about relationships. As usual, Robert De Niro is the main attraction. But Oakes Fegley (2016's "Pete's Dragon") is an impressive match for the iconic star. Their head to head confrontation works well. A powerhouse supporting cast has little to do. Uma Thurman and Rob Riggle are fine as the pressured parents. Although much of the film is aimed at pre-teens, a bit of adult humor is present. Cheech Marin, Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour provide this element as Ed's two buddies and his female friend. This fluffy entertainment flies by rapidly and is easy on the brain. There are outtakes during the closing credits and the song "Point of War", sung by actress/singer Laura Marano (she portrays Peter's teen sister Mia). A pleasant diversion, "The War with Grandpa" is explosive fun. (3/5 CAMS)
Rated PG (for rude humor, language, and some thematic elements)
Running Time: 94 minutes
In theaters October 9, 2020.