Tailored from Robert Kimmel Smith’s guide, and directed by Tim Hill (an animation veteran, together with “The SpongeBob Film: Sponge on the Run”), the movie shortly turns right into a home conflict, with sixth-grade Peter (Oakes Fegley of “The Goldfinch”) warning grandpa Ed to relocate, or face the implications. Not like his mother, Ed’s daughter (Uma Thurman, an unlikely if efficient selection), the child seems little involved that gramps continues to be lacking his late spouse and struggling on his personal with issues like, nicely, driving.
The “conflict” unfolds with a collection of escalating pranks, a minimum of two of which depart Ed with out his pants, which about sums up the extent of comedic aspirations. Fortuitously, he has reinforcements (principally seconds within the duel, to counter Peter’s pals) performed by Christopher Walken and Cheech Marin, with Jane Seymour subsequently becoming a member of in as a welcome new addition to their ranks.
As for the era caught between them, Peter’s people (with Rob Riggle as his dad) are a slight reduce above the standard Charlie Brown-parents in these form of films, sometimes getting unwittingly drawn into the battle. Peter can also be a center little one, bookended by sisters with considerations of their very own.
Edgy it isn’t, however everybody appears to be having a fairly good time, maybe particularly the senior class. File it beneath De Niro’s dedication to be always working — augmenting dramatic roles like “The Irishman” with lighter fare, such because the “Meet the Dad and mom” films and “The Intern” — with out extreme fretting in regards to the high quality of the fabric, which he elevates as finest he can.
The disgrace of it’s that “The Battle With Grandpa” would have been a type of disposable live-action films households may have seen collectively, violating the “Seinfeld” “No hugging. No studying” rule in an inoffensive approach. As is, whereas the movie is certainly opening in theaters, beneath present situations it is laborious to think about many individuals eager to enterprise out for a confection that is principally a TV film, simply with an unexpectedly starry solid.
At any time when and wherever youngsters do see it, they’re apt to take pleasure in it, whereas the theme reminds the adults of their lives that the variations and that come between households — from politics to one thing as frivolous as a child’s bed room — lastly aren’t as vital because the deeper bonds that they share.
In that sense, “The Battle With Grandpa” could be a slim assemble, however a minimum of it carries the message that blood is thicker than water — or, in Peter’s case, actual property.
“The Battle With Grandpa” premieres in theaters on Oct. 9. It is rated PG.