Six-year-old boys may laugh at the bowwow of a comedy Old Dogs . But then, 6-year-old boys laugh at the word poop — and the…
Movie Review

Old Dogs

Robin Williams, Old Dogs | THE F TROOP Ella Bleu Travolta, Conner Rayburn, Robin Williams, and John Travolta get benched in Old Dogs
Image credit: Ron Phillips
THE F TROOP Ella Bleu Travolta, Conner Rayburn, Robin Williams, and John Travolta get benched in Old Dogs

Six-year-old boys may laugh at the bowwow of a comedy Old Dogs. But then, 6-year-old boys laugh at the word poop — and the word poop plays a big steaming part in this stinky endeavor. So does the sight of Japanese businessmen getting hit in the crotch with golf clubs. And the sound of Robin Williams' dignity flushing further down the pipes. Williams and John Travolta play old pals in their 50s, a cartoonish sad-sack divorcé and a cartoonish bachelor swinger, respectively, whose odd-couple routines are upended by the arrival of 7-year-old fraternal twins that Williams' character never knew he had. (Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, plays the kids' mom, and Ella Bleu Travolta debuts as the girl twin.)

Exhausted as the premise already is — hapless boomer learns that real manhood is a function of committed fatherhood — Old Dogs nevertheless finds ways to make the lesson even less tolerable. Directed by Walt Becker (who handled Travolta in Wild Hogs with similar material), the movie includes an interminable scene of the men taking the wrong medications for their various boomer ailments, with weirdly horrible comedic side effects. In other awful interludes, they and their many ill-used guest stars are shot in disfiguring close-ups. The late comedy king Bernie Mac (who died in August 2008) is among those guests, a clue that this movie is an old dog indeed. F

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Originally posted Nov 24, 2009 Published in issue #1078 Dec 04, 2009 Order article reprints