Old Dogs review ½

Inane, witless, excruciating - there, that's all you need to know about this wretched "comedy" that was rightly up for a number of razzies this year. It seems to have been developed by practitioners who have nothing but contempt for their audience. Did they seriously think we would be entertained by this dumb tale of two middle aged sports marketers, comfortable with their bachelor existence, who finally grow up and learn some life lessons?

Travolta is the confident salesman, Williams the number cruncher, pals since childhood, who have turned their business into a global success and are now negotiating for an expensive contract with a Japanese firm that will net them big earnings.

But a shock is in store for Williams - a fling he had on holiday with Preston seven years ago produced two children he never knew he had. She has to do time in jail for a couple of weeks (don't ask) and turns up out of the blue asking him to look after the tykes. Cue unfunny situations where the unsuitable guys look after the children, taking them to a scout camp for example, giving rise to horrible pratfalls and shtick that never once raises a smile.

Half a star is awarded for the panoramic shots of sunny Manhattan, one of my all-time favourite cities. Otherwise, the script is appalling, the direction hamfisted, the comic timing miscalculated, the plot lacks logic and the performers are embarrassing. Everyone involved should be utterly ashamed of themselves for foisting this on us. An abomination of the first order, this dreadful movie should be meted out as a punishment to anyone you loathe. After all, that's what the makers seem to have inflicted on us. Truly terrible - sticking needles in your eyes would be preferable to sitting through this dire effort.

Official Site
Old Dogs at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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