Bit of a Dog
I'm confused because I don't know who they thought "Old Dogs" was going to entertain. As a movie made for children it comes up woefully short of fun for them and as entertainment for those who have grown up watching Robin Williams and John Travolta it still comes up woefully short of fun for them. It just doesn't seem to have an audience and unfortunately the humour thoughout "Old Dogs", which is basically slapstick at the expense of Williams and Travolta, constantly misfires making "Old Dogs" a movie which even at just 88 minutes feels way too long.
Charlie (John Travolta - The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3) and Dan (Robin Williams - Night at the Museum 2) have been friends since their college days, going into business together as public relations experts and are on the verge of landing a huge deal with an Asian company. But Dan's past comes back to haunt him when Vicki (Kelly Preston) who he met, married and divorced all in the space of 24 hours 7 years earlier shows up with her children, which also happen to be his. And with Vicki about to do 14 days in prison for being part of a political rally Dan and Charlie are going to have to learn how to be parents very quickly, not easy for two older single men with a big business deal to occupy their minds.
Now "Old Dogs" is a routine and on face value comedy as we watch two men having to look after children, something they are not prepared for. It's been done before from widowed dad's having a baby to raise to three men discovering a child on their doorstep and so this basic storyline is obvious. You know that whilst inept at being parents Dan and Charlie will bond with the kids and then have a decision to make when it comes to business and whether they let their heads rule their hearts. It's not a spoiler to tell you that because "Old Dogs" is that obvious right from the minute Dan meets his twin children for the first time.
What this means is that "Old Dogs" is about the humour of two mature men finding themselves with two children to care for, being inept at it and it invading on their life and business. And this is where I have an issue because I can't tell who all this humour is targeting because for children it rarely has any simple humour but for grown ups that have grown up watching Williams and Travolta it borders on the moronic. Not only that some of the humour seems almost inappropriate from a scene where the kids mess up Dan and Charlie's medication to a scene of them watching a horror movie. I don't want to sound like the proverbial grump but what message is that delivering if this is a children's movie.
But that is not the worst of it because when you have a comic talent of the calibre of Robin Williams shackling him to weak jokes is always going to disappoint and watching him delivering scripted humour is simply tedious. And whilst this is dull you also have the uncomfortably daft as John Travolta ends up looking very uncomfortable with pulling exaggerated facial expressions. The only thing about the casting which sort of works is the shock of seeing various actors such as Matt Dillon, Seth Green, Justin Long and even Ann-Margret in supporting roles.
What this boils down to is that "Old Dogs" is unfortunately one big misfire which seems to not know who its target audience is. It is never funny and even when you take into account it is probably aimed as entertainment for children it still fails.
Tags: Instant Families