Old Dogs

Movies
2 out of 5 stars
Old Dogs

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Hollywood can give perpetual thanks for America’s seemingly insatiable appetite for Mr. Mom comedies; this time, it’s Robin Williams and John Travolta riding the gravy train as over-the-hill marketing execs raising bratty twins. The kids resulted from a one-night stand between Williams and Kelly Preston (who happens to be Travolta’s real-life spouse, a peculiar instance of casting-cum-swinging). A free-for-all of pratfalls and groin injuries ensues, as the buddies balance bad parenting with suck-up sessions to Japanese clients, whose cultural obtuseness is played for xenophobic laughs.

Director Walt Becker (who last took middle-aged buffoonery to the bank with Wild Hogs) manages to imbue this phone-in job with one visually inventive sequence: When the stars unknowingly swap medications, computer-generated distortions combine with old-time slapstick to depict the side effects. That, plus Seth Green singing Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” to fend off a horny gorilla, may be enough to offset embarrassments like Travolta fratboy 'hood-talking (“I can’t have kids in my crib! That ain’t how I roll, yo!”) and Williams getting his flab sprayed in a tanning booth. Only the irrepressible Luis Guzmn, stuck in a walk-on bit as the stereotypical mooching Hispanic, is able to milk this cash cow and exit with his dignity intact.—Kevin B. Lee

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