I have found a movie that is more worthy of being called “Travolting” than Battlefield Earth. Let me introduce you to my personal hell, Disney’s Old Dogs. If you’re a fan of RV, Are We There Yet, Cheaper By the Dozen, and Home Alone 3, then grab your popcorn and get ready for your next favorite movie full of nothing but sight gags, slapstick, and pratfalls that coat a story so shallow you couldn’t even drown yourself if you tried. Trust me, if you’re not a fan of low comedy and you are forced to see this, you’ll probably try.
Dan (Robin Williams) and his best friend Charlie (John Travolta) do everything together. They grew up together, they became big-wigs in the sports marketing world, and they especially help each other through rough patches; like when Dan got divorced a few years back. Being the good friend he is, Charlie took it upon himself to take Dan to Vegas, resulting in a misspelled tattoo, an annulment, and a story used to butter up potential clients before they go in for the kill.
Dan, Charlie, and their protege Craig (Seth Green) are about to close in on a huge Japanese business deal, when, surprise! The Vegas ex-wife, Vicki (Kelly Preston), pops back up in Dan’s life. Low and behold, it turns out that he’s the father of her twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn). She wants to reconnect, but has to make a 2 week pit-stop at the local jail for chaining herself to whatever it is that activists chain themselves to. When her cross-eyed girlfriend winds up in the hospital, she has no one to turn to to watch the kids but Dan and Charlie. Let blunders (after blunders, after blunders) ensue when 7 year olds are thrown into the world of not-so-kid-savvy and nearly 60 year old bachelors. After stumbling over one debacle after another, will the two possibly stumble upon an understanding of what’s really important in life? Hmm. What do you think?
Maybe I sound a little angry. Let me explain myself. My mind was vehemently telling me that I was going to hate this movie from the end of the very first scene, but a small part of me was hoping beyond hope that I wasn’t wasting my morning on this movie. Maybe somehow the humor would surprise me, or the story would take a nice little turn toward realism and have a slightly less cliched ending. Wrong. This movie is nothing more than Disney lowering itself to try to bank some fat cash over the Thanksgiving weekend by slapping some big names on a terrible script. They get away with calling it a family movie by adding actors from different generations to entice grandparents, parents, teens, and young-en’s to come see it together. They call it a comedy by chucking golf balls at men’s crotches, putting Williams in nonsensical situations, and making light of the characters ingesting the wrong morning pills…dangerously turning a deadly matter into a joke about how the different side-affects made them do zany things.
- The acting is atrocious, whether it’s coming from Robin Williams, John Travolta, or Seth Green.
- The smaller roles played by Lori Loughlin, Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, Justin Long, Ann-Margret, and Rita Wilson are all unremarkable and equally as atrocious.
- The music is a classic bad comedy score — you know, the kind where the tubas do a slow tromp up and down the scale and the orchestra is just a little too peppy? Yeah, that one.
- The story doesn’t stray from it’s classically cliched outline. Not an inch.
The only good thing I can say about Old Dogs is at least Dan and Vicki were married, however briefly, when they conceived their twins. Don’t waste your money on this one. Tell others not to waste their money either. Please, don’t encourage movie studios to make more movies that insult our intelligence and steal not only your hard earned money, but your precious time that you could be spending at a quality movie, relaxing at home, or even playing with your kids. Family comedies do not have to be slapsticky and poorly written! Come on Disney, shame on you!
I give Old Dogs an Epic Fail.