There is nothing new about John Travolta, Robin Williams starrer new comedy Old Dogs. The film is an old story full of old jokes and older actors. Just the way Travolta’s highly botoxed face tries hard to cover its ageing marks but fails in vain, Becker’s plan of hiring Hollywood’s legendary actors and expecting them to make up for a bad script fails too.
Two ageing best friends, Charlie the philanderer (Travolta) and Dan, the emotional fool (Robin Williams) believe they lead an exciting life. Charlie pretends to enjoy his bachelor lifestyle while Dan regrets his one annulment and one divorce.
While Dan misses his family life, one of his ex-wives surprisingly shows up only to ask Dan to take care of their seven year old twins for two weeks. Having not looked after kids before, Dan panics with his ex’s request and emotionally blackmails Charlie into sharing his new found responsibility. Will the two grown up kids be able to play doting dads to Dan’s kids is the question.
Old Dogs has its share of fun moments but it’s the script that falters badly. From kid comedy the film makes a rough transition into an emotional drama on friendship and family, which seems bizarre and meaningless.
American films are known to glorify all sorts of phobia when it comes to relationships – commitment phobia, marriage phobia and thus parenthood phobia. In films like Arnold’s Kindergarten Cop and Kate Hudson’s Raising Helen we have seen enough of protagonists struggling with babysitting and thus this film offers nothing new.
Why would actors like Travolta and Williams accept a mediocre script is another question. Robin Williams plays a clumsy guy who ends up hitting someone or the other on one of their body parts whenever he moves while Travolta flirts with women young enough to be his daughters.
Together they give their best but at their age the kind of comedy they are given to play does not look amusing. Travolta making Jim Carrey like faces is simply disappointing.
The only thing that you find truly funny in the film is when the lead actors are called grandfathers of those seven year old kids wherever they go. Rest is just okay.
Actors Justin Long and Matt Dillon make silly guest appearances but manage to bring a smile on your face nevertheless. If you are in for a run of the mill babysitting comedy, you can watch this one, expecting something new, skip watching this one.