Upset that he has to share the room he loves with his grandfather, Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back.
This is one YA novel that should have stayed in print form. With over-the-top performances coupled by cardboard characters and acting that felt considerably contrived, the pranks and gags that ensue fall as flat as a pancake. Even the likes of this all-star cast led by Robert De Niro and accompanied by Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, and Uma Thurman can’t lift this one out of the basement. There are, however, moments of sweetness with De Niro channeling his inner grandpa, but its premise and ridiculousness, granted how could it be anything but, gets old very fast. 1.5 Stars
Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour and Rob Riggle all show up to collect an easy paycheck, as this material is obviously beneath their talent. The physical gags are hit and miss, some inspired – a funeral Ed attends goes hilariously awry – others labored and predictable. Also labored and predictable are De Niro’s fellow geriatric co-stars Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin and Jane Seymour. (NOTE: I’m hoping the casting director offered Seymour’s part to Meryl Streep in an effort to pull off a “Deer Hunter” reunion with De Niro and Walken. If so, she had the good sense to pass on this one. If not, file this one under “Missed Opportunity.”) These three show up for an easy paycheck, mug for the camera and prove that despite their collective serious acting chops, they just can’t find a way to make a dodgeball game funny. Tweens will love it and you will too, if you keep your expectations low. 2.5 Stars.