Old Dogs (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/03/2010

One out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Utterly abysmal, entirely laugh-free and hideously embarrassing comedy that should have been put out of its misery at the script stage and is almost certainly the worst film of the year.

What's it all about?
Directed by Walt Becker (who made Wild Hogs, if you're looking for warning signs), Old Dogs stars Robin Williams and John Travolta as Dan and Charlie, two 50-something business partners who've been best friends for 30 years. However, on the eve of the biggest deal of their careers, Dan discovers he has two seven-year-old fraternal twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn) as the result of a drunken one-day marriage to Vicki (Kelly Preston), seven years previously.

When Vicki is sent to prison for two weeks (don't ask), Dan and Charlie are charged with looking after the children, while also ensuring that their deal with a group of golf-obsessed Japanese businessmen goes off without a hitch. What could possibly go wrong?

The Bad
There's so much that's wrong with Old Dogs that it's difficult to know where to start. First of all, it's painfully, no, make that excruciatingly unfunny, running through every tedious toilet humour gag like they're ticking them off a check list (dog piss jokes, fart jokes, poop jokes, all present) and somehow failing to include a single funny line of dialogue. Worse, one comic set-piece involving the side effects of pain medication (resulting in Travolta sporting a Joker-like grin during a eulogy) is spectacularly misjudged and backfires horribly, not least because of the dodgy CGI used for Travolta's mouth.

Sadly, it gets worse – Travolta's character is extremely unlikable, to the point where you just want to punch him every time he opens his mouth, while Williams, oddly, decides to underplay his usual manic schtick so you keep expecting him to suddenly break out in a comic rant and... he never does. Similarly, the film completely wastes the likes of Matt Dillon, Justin Long, and Luis Guzman in pointless, unfunny cameos.

The Worst
On top of that, the script leaps around from set-piece to set-piece with no real connection between the scenes, before coating the whole thing in thick layers of syrupy sentimentality that will make you want to vomit.

Worth seeing?
In a word, no. Old Dogs is easily the worst film of the year. Avoid like your life depended on it.

Film Trailer

Old Dogs (PG)
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Content updated: 22/07/2018 03:43

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