This PG-rated, pro-dad Disney comedy pairs Charlie (John Travolta) and Dan (Robin Williams) as pals who graduated from high school in 1972. Now they’re sports-marketing stars about to land a five-year, $47 million deal with a Tokyo corporation. What could distract the duo? Seven years ago, Dan had a drunken post-divorce fling in Miami that led to nuptials-under-the-influence lasting fourteen hours. The first he hears of the twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn) he fathered is when their mom Vicki (Kelly Preston) calls to say she’s headed to prison for two weeks for chaining herself to a bulldozer. Please look after our offspring. David Diamond and David Weissman, who take credit for “When in Rome” and “The Family Man,” write a list of sketches posing as narrative. Bear scat, golf balls hitting groins and side effects from meds supply humor that humored none of the kids in a Saturday morning preview screening. Director Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs,” “Van Wilder”) does what’s needed to make the trailer and no more. An aged dog is recruited for truly cheap reaction shots prior to his (spoiler alert) death. Although an end title notes, “American Humane monitored some of the animal action. No animals were harmed in those scenes,” the humanist on the set overlooked injury to canine dignity. “Old Dogs” insults the two-legged deceased too. It’s made “In Loving Memory of Bernie Mac and Jett Travolta.” With Seth Green, Lori Loughlin, Matt Dillon, Rita Wilson and Mr. Mac. 88m. (Bill Stamets)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.