Ella Bleu Travolta
Im not sure what the reasoning was behind Old Dogs. I mean, I suppose that if youre not looking for much, or if you get free passes, or if youre goal in life is to see every John Travolta film ever made, its an OK watch. Other than that, though, its a disappointing waste of not only its two leads, but a cast that looks spectacular on paper (Amy Sedaris, Bernie Mac, Justin Long) that is reduced to little more than a series of humorless cameos.
Straight-laced Dan (Robin Williams) and his ladies man pal Charlie (Travolta) have been best friends and business partners for over 30 years. Seven years ago, when Dans marriage went down the tubes, Charlie stepped in to cheer up his buddy with a trip to Miami that resulted in Dans quickie hookup, marriage, and annulment with a woman named Vicky (Kelly Preston). Well, seven years have passed, and Vickys on her way to jail for two weeks, prompting her to inform Dan hes an insta-dad of twins and of course, movie luck being what it is, he and Charlie wind up in charge of the kids and learn all kinds of life lessons while finding themselves in several wacky predicaments.
Now, Im all for mindless fun, and this obviously isnt going to be on anybodys list of Oscar contenders, but really, who paid a cast of this caliber to show up for such sub-mediocre work? Every once in a while, you may laugh, but its not enough to justify the price of a movie ticket or the time wasted sitting there watching. Williams had gained a few points with me recently for his interesting turn in the uber-dark Worlds Greatest Dad, but he lost those freebies by agreeing to take a role thats not just unfunny, but sappy and predictable to boot. Travolta, at least, can claim he was excited on a film with both his wife and daughterthough that doesnt make up for his over-the-top cheese-fest of a performance. Im sure that there are people out there who might enjoy Old Dogs, saying things that Ive said before about movies like, It wasnt THAT bad, or, It couldve been worseand in truth, those statements are accurate. Old Dogs offends in its absolute blandness, in its complete inability to offer anything new or clever, and in the fact that even in its better moments, it is barely able to elicit a chuckle.
It's Got: Wasted cast, Penguins, Nothing worth recommending
It Needs: Something funny, To give audiences back their money, To apologize
Alternatives:Four Christmases, Look Who's Talking, Wild Hogs
Not as inherently awful as, say, The Love Guru, Old Dogs still manages to be very, very bad and waste the time of so many talented people.