Old Dogs Movie Review

To call this comedy a disaster is an understatement. It's aggressively awful, and manages to push its worst gags so numbingly off the scale that we're left slack-jawed in disbelief. Amazingly, the cast members just about get out alive.

Charlie and Dan (Travolta and Williams) are old pals and partners as sports publicists. Charlie is a relentless bachelor, teasing Dan about his impulsive, brief Vegas marriage to Vicki (Preston) eight years earlier. What neither of them knows is that Vicki gave birth to Dan's twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Rayburn), and now she needs him to watch them for two weeks. Nutty antics ensue as these cute kids upset these men's life, dragging them off for a weekend camping trip and of course slowly winning them over in the process.

Becker (who also directed the dire Wild Hogs) keeps everything sunny and jaunty, straining in every scene to create something that's absolutely hilarious. But since the strain shows, each scene falls utterly flat. The entire A-list cast overacts wildly (including cameo players like Dax Shepherd and Luis Guzman), but the biggest hams are Travolta and Williams. And in the worst sequence, Travolta's gurning grin is digitally augmented into something truly hideous.

All of these cartoonish performances only make the script's contrived slapstick even worse, with a series of big set pieces (the crazy picnic, the virtual reality game gone wrong, the gorilla enclosure) that might have seemed hilarious on paper. But Becker's clumsy direction and the actors' relentless mugging leave the film feeling like a bad comedy sketch. Especially since the most sophisticated humour in the movie centres on someone getting smacked and falling down.

There's actually a whiff of what this could have been in a small scene in which Charlie and Dan compare their physical ailments. Unfortunately this is merely ham-fisted set-up for one of the ridiculous set pieces. In fact, all of the jokes in this film are of the cheap variety, and then the script has the nerve to lay on a sickening swell of sentimentality as Dan magically becomes a real dad in the end. It's not like we didn't know that would happen.


Comments

Old Dogs Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG, 2009

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

"Hercules" Falters, While "Lucy" Shines At The Box Office With $44 Million

This week at the box office, the sci-fi thriller Lucy won out over slim...

The New Mockingjay Trailer Will Make Your Heart Weep

Another Comic-Con, another Hunger Games trailer. Not that we mind, of course...

The New Mockingjay Trailer Will Make Your Heart Weep

Director George Miller Speaks On Purposely Avoiding Use Of CGI In 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

It has been over three decades since Australian filmmaker...

Director George Miller Speaks On Purposely Avoiding Use Of CGI In 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Taylor Swift Offers Advice To A Young Fan With A Broken Heart

If her songs are anything to go by, then Taylor Swift is definitely the person you should...

 Taylor Swift Offers Advice To A Young Fan With A Broken Heart

Over 20 Fans Hospitalized Following Keith Urban's Weekend Concert

For many concertgoers, Keith Urban's Saturday night (July 26th) show in...

Over 20 Fans Hospitalized Following Keith Urban's Weekend Concert

Aretha Franklin Lashes Out At Canadian Fast Food Join For Showing Her No Respect

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin has publically scolded an employee at...

Aretha Franklin Lashes Out At Canadian Fast Food Join For Showing Her No Respect
Advertisement

Flirt Alert: Did Orlando Bloom And Nina Dobrev Really Get Close At Comic-Con?

Ok, so the romance at Comic-Con is definitely secondary to the first...

Flirt Alert: Did Orlando Bloom And Nina Dobrev Really Get Close At Comic-Con?

Nicki Minaj Announces Postponement Of New Single 'Anaconda' With Sexy Swimsuit Pic

Nicki Minaj managed to garner the attention of an undoubtedly...

Nicki Minaj Announces Postponement Of New Single 'Anaconda' With Sexy Swimsuit Pic

Comic-Con Update: Evangeline Lilly Joins The Cast Of Ant-Man Amid Production Mishaps

More Marvel. More cast announcements. This is Comic-Con weekend. The latest round...

Comic-Con Update: Evangeline Lilly Joins The Cast Of Ant-Man Amid Production Mishaps


More recommendations

Advertisement