“The War with Grandpa” opens in theaters across the country this weekend and will have little competition to battle it out at the box office. The film is based on a book of the same name and is being marketed as the Boomers vs the Zoomers.
Sixth-grader Peter (Oakes Fegley) is an average kid who is forced to give up his prized possession – his bedroom – when his grandpa Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in. Ed is recently widowed and is having trouble adjusting to life on his own.
It’s clear from the beginning that Peter doesn’t understand the value of having his grandpa nearby and rather than embracing it, he declares “war” to try to get his bedroom back. The war consists of a series of increasingly elaborate pranks that ultimately brings them closer together.
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During the battle, Ed leans on his close confidants and friends played by Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin and Jane Seymour. Their interactions are some of the funniest moments in the movie. De Niro and Walken have been friends for decades since starring in “The Deer Hunter” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1979. “The War with Grandpa” is a hilarious reunion for them.
“Chris is always so great in everything he does,” De Niro says. “I was so happy that he was doing it. That was in itself a pleasure. We had a good time. It was like a reunion.”
One of the most memorable scenes in the film comes when Ed’s friends and Peter’s friends square off in a dodgeball game at a trampoline park. Seymour says they may have fudged their physical ability a bit to make it work.
“They take you aside with the stunt people and say, are you capable of doing this? Are there any ailments we need to know about?” Seymour says. “We all tried to pretend we were perfectly fit!”