November 27, 2009
Review - " Old Dogs " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Walt Becker
Starring: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Seth Green,
Ella Bleu Travolta, Lori Loughlin, Justin Long, and Matt Dillon.
Top critics give "Old Dogs" movie very bad reviews. The top movie
critics in the business weren’t to kind with Walt Disney Pictures new
I can not say "Old Dogs" is the best comedy movie but it was 'nice'
movie with some laughs. Some of scenes in the movie are really
goofy and some of scenes in the movie are funny, some try to be
heartfelt and touching. Don't expect much, this was dumped off by
Disney, as a place holder between A Christmas Carol and the
upcoming The Princess and the Frog. For one thing, this movie is so
old, Bernie Mac had time to film an appearance before he died last
"Old Dogs" is a family affair for actor John Travolta, his wife Kelly
Preston and their daughter Ella Bleu Travolta. The three of them star
together in this painfully, heartwarming family film about the
challenges and joys of fatherhood.
John Travolta plays Charlie, a perpetual and aging bachelor who
believes he is still capable of wooing the women even if it takes a
pharmacy of prescription pills to keep all his body functions in check.
He and his life-long pal Dan (Robin Williams) run a sports marketing
company. The two men are about to close the biggest deal of their
But just as their pens are poised on the dotted line, a ghost from Dan’s past shows up in town. Following Dan’s terrible
divorce seven years earlier, Charlie hauled his despondent friend off to a tropical location where he got plastered, tattooed
and married to a woman he’d just met—all in a matter of hours. When the alcoholic haze cleared the next morning, Dan and
Vicki (Kelly Preston) decided to annul their nuptials. Now, she’s brought with her the results of their brief matrimonial union:
twins Zach (Conner Rayburn) and Emily (Ella Bleu Travolta). Vicki also reveals she is headed for a two-week stint in the
slammer for political activism and needs Dan to take on his fatherly duties while she serves her sentence.
Despite these guys’ skills in the boardroom, they are both lousy with kids. Figuring they only need to actively parent for
about 90 minutes a day, they reluctantly agree to take the youngsters. The next fortnight includes a disastrous excursion to
a wilderness encampment where the buddies are humiliated in a brutal game of Ultimate Frisbee with the camp director
(Matt Dillon). They also mistakenly burn down a statue of the camp’s patron benefactor. And from there things just go
downhill, on several fronts.
Many of the scenes involving Travolta and Williams resemble a standup comedy routine—snappy but short. The rest of the
film is strung together with a mediocre storyline that includes jokes about the side effects of misused prescriptions, a
urinating dog, and the ubiquitous ball-to-the-groin gag. As well, these aging ad agents are frequently mistaken for the
children’s grandparents, a blunder that seems to be insulting to these two eternally adolescent-minded business partners.
In true Disney style, "Old Dogs" has nothing that is all that unique - the story is cliche, formulaic, and is full of slapstick
humor. However, though cliche, one has also come to expect Disney movies to produce feel-good, light and happy movies,
and Old Dogs definitely fits this mold and fits
it successfully. Don’t expect this one to win
any awards, but it’s not meant to. It’s meant to
make you laugh.
While the script doesn't offer any surprising
twists, it does reiterate the important role of
fathers in the lives of their children. And that
is a positive lesson even Old Dogs can learn.
"Old Dogs" is fairly family friendly, if you’re
looking for a good movie that you can take
your kids to. This movie isn’t going to be full
of witty humor, but if you’re looking for a
movie over Thanxgiving that just gives you
some giggles, some silly entertainment,
"Old Dogs" might be the one to go to.