John Travolta and Robin Williams star in OLD DOGS, the hilarious family comedy that will have you howling.
Two best friends have their lives turned upside down when they're unexpectedly charged with the care of seven-year-old twins while on the verge of the bigest business deal of their lives. The clueless bachelors stumble in their efforts to take care of the children, leading to one debacle after another, with a gorilla and some pecking penguins--and perhaps to a newfound understanding of what's really important in life. Featuring a riotously funny supporting cast including Seth Green, Kelly Preston, Matt Dillon, and Lori Laughlin, OLD DOGS is a laugh-a-minute comedy filled with heart.
On the back cover of this DVD, we see the words “One of the Best Family Films of the Year”. Are we convinced? Not really. Besides the fact that the front cover of this DVD features a drab looking John Travolta and Robin Williams accompanying Seth Green in the arms of a gorilla, we just have a bad feeling about this movie. Maybe it is due to the fact that five minutes into the picture, we see Williams trying very hard to milk laughs by dancing topless with some words tattooed across his chest.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Williams plays Dan, who has been business partners with Charlie (Travolta) for the past 30 years. The two best friends work in a public relations firm which is about to close a deal with a Japanese company. The twist comes when Dan is approached by a woman who tells him that he is the father of her twins. He had married her on drunken impulse nine years ago and annulled the marriage the next day. She tells him she is going to jail, and needs him to look after the kids. Dan takes up the job with Charlie on his side, sparking off a series of misadventures for a whole 88 minutes, and boy, are we glad it didn’t last any longer.
Let’s see. Travolta is an Oscar nominated actor (Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction). He is also the voice of a dog in Bolt (2008), a Disney animated feature. Williams is an Oscar winner (Good Will Hunting). He is also the voice of a genie in Aladdin (1992), a Disney animated feature. Now, the two actors have come together to star in this Disney live action movie. You were expecting something great to come out of this? We weren’t. With a storyline like this, there is simply not much room to make things too exciting. Besides, the two acclaimed actors do come across as trying too hard to make us laugh. We feel almost embarrassed to watch them.
Then there is the supporting cast. There is Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, who plays Williams’ ex wife in the movie. She doesn’t appear offensive, but in an even more unfortunate way, her role feels unnecessary and redundant. She doesn’t even seem to enjoy being in the movie. We also have Green who struts around as a junior associate of the firm. We feel sad for him when he has to act opposite an actor in a gorilla suit in the finale of the movie. We feel for you, dude. Other noteworthy actors include Matt Dillon as a camp leader, Justin Long as an avenging camp participant, Luis Gazman and Dax Shepard as child proofers, and the late Bernie Mac as a children’s entertainer. Because of their brief screen time, these actors were more amusing to watch than the leads.
So boo to the statement that this disposable movie is “One of the Best Family Films of the Year“, because with its predictably lazy storyline, we were genuinely thinking otherwise that this is possibly one of the worst family films. Ever.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Why do the producers bother to fill this Code 3 DVD with extra features? There is an Audio Commentary by Director Walt Becker. Producer Andrew Panay and Writers David Diamond and David Weissman, which is somewhat fun to listen to because the four men are rather highly energized in talking about the making of the movie. There are two minutes of Bloopers which aren’t really amusing, two minutes of three Deleted Scenes which are rather pointless, a Music Video of the song “Every Little Step” performed by John Travolta and Ella Bleu Travolta (yes, they are a father and daughter team) and a rather interesting five minute clip promoting Disney Blu Ray entitled Dylan & Cole Sprouse: Blu Ray is Suite! This has got to be the best bit on this DVD.
The movie’s visual transfer is fine, and you can watch it in either Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in English & Portuguese, or Dolbu Digital 2.0 in Thai.
by John Li
Posted on 2 May 2010