Robin Williams and John Travolta star in Old Dogs, a film that starts with the idea of decidedly middle-aged self-proclaimed bachelors attempting to garner something more meaningful in life than their “adults-only” condos and BlackBerrys and turns into a zany insert-comedic-sequence-here style romp that at times finds its footing, but in the end plays out as a mediocre family-themed comedy.
The film is a play on the infamous my-two-dads comedy scenario about two best friends and longtime sports marketing business partners on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives. Dan (Williams), an unlucky-in-love divorcee still pinning over a one-night stand in South Beach from seven years prior, and Charlie (Travolta), a womanizer with Peter Pan syndrome, have their lives turned upside down when, predictably, “South Beach Vicki” (Kelly Preston) comes back into Dan’s life and charges him with the care of her seven-year-old twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn), a result of their infamous weekend together. Director Walt Becker (Wild Hogs) mercilessly reinforces the idea that Dan and Charlie are old, from random people assuming the twins are Dan’s grandchildren to Dan and Charlie’s failed attempt at playing an Ultimate Frisbee game during Pioneer Weekend -- prison rules style -- only to end up with cracking joints, sore backs, and a diatribe about why it sucks to be old. Surprisingly, few of the gags have to do with the guys interacting with the kids, which is what you promise when you label Dan “allergic to anything under four feet tall.”
It’s unfortunate that screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman fail to provide enough material to support the comedic talents of Williams, or for that matter any number of the talented supporting actors, who include Seth Green, Amy Sedaris, and Justin Long, and instead opt for a series of episodes -- a funky puppet show, a trip to the zoo, and a wired tea party -- meshed together to form something vaguely resembling narrative. Still, there are some comedic moments in the film -- one in particular involving a prescription drug mix-up which leads to a golf outing that ends with Dan having a mean case of vertigo and Charlie with temporary facial paralysis a la the Joker -- but what small sparks of life these moments add to the film quickly dissipate, and by the end are easily forgotten.
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- Released: 2009
- Rating: PG
- Review: Robin Williams and John Travolta star in Old Dogs, a film that starts with the idea of decidedly middle-aged self-proclaimed bachelors attempting to garner something more meaningful in life than their “adults-only” condos and BlackBerrys and turns into a z… (more)