Movie review: Beware of 'Old Dogs'

  • Article by: ROGER MOORE , Orlando Sentinel
  • Updated: November 24, 2009 - 11:17 PM

This shoddy comedy gives us Robin Williams and John Travolta at their most toothless.

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(L-R) Ella Bleu Travolta, Robin Williams, Conner Rayburn

Photo: Ron Phillips, Photo provided

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Trashing "Old Dogs" is a bit like kicking a puppy. But here goes.

The new comedy from some of the folks who brought us "Wild Hogs" is badly written and broadly acted, shamelessly manipulative and not above stopping by the toilet for a laugh or two.

John Travolta and Robin Williams play high-rolling sports marketing partners. Travolta is Charlie -- the womanizing, back-slapping, tell-the-client-a-funny-story half of the team. Most of the stories (not funny, BTW) are about Dan, played by Williams at his most downbeat. Sad Dan may be able to close the deal, but he's a lonely soul, divorced, pining over "South Beach Vicki," a one-night stand (Kelly Preston) from seven years earlier.

The guys are on the verge of their biggest deal ever when Vicki comes back into Dan's life. She's going to jail and oh, by the way, Dan's the father of twins. Would he mind watching them for a few weeks?

Surprisingly, few of the jokes have to do with the guys interacting with kids. Repeated gags about their age -- the funniest bits come from a mix-up in their daily pill regimen -- and "We're a couple, they're our kids" gay jokes pepper the script. The kids (including Travolta's lovely daughter Ella Bleu) are seldom-used props. There's nothing offensive here. But when the best thing you can say about a comedy is that it's harmless, you know these "Old Dogs" have lost their bite. Utterly.

  • OLD DOGS

    ★ 1/2 out of four stars

    Rating: PG for mild rude humor.

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