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Old Dogs

Year: 2009
Studio: Disney
Director: Walt Becker
Writer: David Diamond/David Weissman
Cast: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Justin Long, Bernie Mac, Ann-Margaret, Amy Sedaris, Rita Wilson

How the director of 2007's Wild Hogs came to do a movie cut from the same cloth called Old Dogs sounds like a bad joke, and that's more or less what the whole movie is.

Despite Wild Hogs' crowd-pleasing shtick, you could at least see some structure there and some of the appeal that drove box office critics the world over found inexplicable. This limp fish has nothing similar working in its favour, a blend of idiotic mugging, godawful jokes built on a flimsy premise for which everyone involved should hang their respective head sin shame.

Travolta and Williams are sports marketing executives and confirmed bachelors when a woman Williams' character had a holiday affair with turns up with two kids she says are his, asking him to mind them for two weeks. Your eyes are no doubt already glazing over as you guess the rest - plenty of scenes of kids destroying dignity, stopping them getting sex and hobbling their careers before they realise it's all worth it because they love them.

It's the same tired middle American 'give up your single life and dreams and realise how rewarding family is' all over again, and even that wouldn't be so bad if any of it was funny. Apart from a golf game scene smack in the middle, it's full of jokes that probably looked much better on paper. Matt Dillon especially should change careers based on his propensity to fall into crap like this, You Me and Dupree and Herbie Fully Loaded.

It's too long-winded and not cute enough for little kids and way too obvious for big kids, so it's amazing it's even found an audience. It certainly won't have one amongst filmgoers who have an ounce of discrimination.

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