Old guys, little kids … what a dog!

2009-11-30 00:00

THE novelty of John Travolta and Robin Williams in the same movie wears off pretty quickly. Travolta’s enthusiastic performance is dwarfed by Williams’s lacklustre attempt at a banal script in one of the worst movies of the year. In fact, Williams looks like he knows it — there’s no wag in his tail and he seems to have resigned himself to his fate.

Old Dogs is the story of two long-time friends and business partners in sports marketing. Travolta plays a roguish bachelor, while Williams plays Dan, a romantic softie. Through much of the movie they are pursuing a mammoth but elusive deal with a Japanese company, whose executives are portrayed in as clichéd a way as possible: the epitome of East Asian uptightness.

Seven years after Dan’s impulsive, one-day marriage (and immediate divorce), his ex-wife Vicki (Kelly Preston), arrives in New York with twins Zach (Conner Rayburn) and Emily (Ella Bleu Travolta) … and surprise, surprise, Dan is the dad. Turns out the kids need baby-sitting for two weeks, and no prizes for guessing who the temporary parents are going to be.

Having watched the film, it seems to make sense that Wild Hogs director is at the helm. Old Dogs is completely predictable, completely unfunny and a total waste of time.

The film really is an old dog: its plot line has not learnt any new tricks, it moves slowly and predic­tably and it’s ridden with post-production fleas.

An absolute disaster. *

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