Old Dogs
I guess that’s her “O” face.

Theatrical Release Date: 11/25/2009
Director: Walt Becker
Cast: John Travolta, Robin Williams, Kelly Preston, Conner Rayburn, Ella Bleu Travolta, Lori Loughlin, Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret, Rita Wilson, Amy Sedaris

Finally Disney decided to make a good old-fashioned live action comedy. If you’re anything like me, I was happy to be able to watch it without 3-D glasses. “Old Dogs” is the stereotypical buddy movie about two aging consummate bachelors (John Travolta and Robin Williams).

The film opens with a collage of photos and a toe-tapping rendition of “You’ve Been a Friend to Me” by Bryan Adams. While I’ve always loved when films use personal photos – it appeals to my voyeuristic, gossip column side – it could have been done better. Several photos were obviously photoshopped with well-demarcated lines around the subject. On the other hand, the photos helped give the illusion of a long time friendship and truly gave the characters roots.

The movie was filled with hilarious antics and thankfully relatively little “potty” humor, but was a bit excessive on the age jokes. While both Travolta and Williams are getting older, neither is easily confused for grandfather age. At some point, it is implied that Travolta is incontinent, and then later Seth Green is even mistaken for their child … really?

The worse laughs were at the expense of Travolta’s elderly incontinent dog, Lucky. As an animal lover, it was nice to see the bond between Travolta and his dog, and blatantly obvious that Travolta loved this dog as his own child. Overall, I was deeply saddened to see aging and incontinence mocked, because neither is really humorous.

Lastly, there is a discussion of drugs and the myriad of side effects induced that was pretty funny. When all the drugs get mixed up, the hijinks ensued. It was entertaining, but the CG used to plaster actors with a Joker style grin was mediocre at best. Perhaps this all says more about my personal views on age, but I was bothered by the over-the-top use of age humor.

The movie kept the audience roaring with laughter from beginning to end with wonderful cameos by Bernie Mac, Matt Dillon, and Justin Long. Justin Long’s character was pure comic genius with an awesome ‘stache. The soundtrack was decent filled with fun energetic music. “Old Dogs” is a bit short with a runtime of only 88 minutes, but is entertaining, funny enough … earning a 3.5 out of 5.