The 52 Worst Films of the 2000s

Movies You Aught Not Watch: Old Dogs

Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“Old Dogs”
Rated PG

John Travolta and Robin Williams are no strangers to shamelessness.

Travolta instructed James Gandolfini to lick his bunghole in “The Taking of Pelham 123” and roared at Barry Pepper to eat a rat in “Battlefield Earth.” Starring in “Toys,” “Patch Adams,” “Fathers’ Day” and “Jack” prepared Williams to battle fountains of sewage, as he did in “RV.”

So Travolta and Williams’ testicular injuries in 2009’s “Old Dogs” from penguins and Bernie Mac’s biochemical human-puppet apparatus (don’t ask) seemed par for the course — junk to emerge from with a thread of dignity. Not so in a mean-spirited, insulting film that festered and reeked as disgustingly as a pus-filled boil.

Dan (Williams) and Charlie (Travolta) are middle-aged business partners charged to watch children Dan never knew he fathered.

It takes work to botch a plot even Steve Guttenberg got right twice. But “Old Dogs” sinks it with the swiftness of men tying cinderblocks to their feet — cancer support groups mocked, trunks slammed on hands, live rounds fired near children for laughs. It’s as aggressively uncomfortable as boxers after they’ve burrowed into a dark, dark place.

“Dogs” was also studio greed at its worst. Giving it a title similar to “Wild Hogs” and casting Travolta, Disney presumed its box-office profit would similarly rhyme. Thankfully, this dog had no day, earning so far below expectations that a can’t-miss “Hogs” sequel was canceled.

Note Charlie’s dog leaking urine as he crosses an apartment floor. “Old Dogs” essentially pees down its leg and calls it comedy.

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13 Responses to “Movies You Aught Not Watch: Old Dogs”

  1. Cindy says:

    My kids and I liked this movie, but I am a huge John Travolta fan and would watch just about anything with him in it. It is a movie we can sit, watch and relax!

  2. cleda says:

    Not too bad but better seen when it’s on video. Glad I saw it at a preview and didn’t have to pay for it.

  3. John D says:

    Jeez some ppl need to lighten up. It’s not a film to change your life but it provided some light entertainment for an hour and a half.

  4. I thought this was a fun movie. Would I buy it no. But totally enjoyed it.

  5. larry glowner says:

    do we really exspect more from these two.

  6. Janet J says:

    Watched this when it came out on netflix via the wii and like corey, wishing I had my hour and a half back! Was a real let down was expecting something more along the lines of Wild Hogs which actually was a decent movie!

  7. Corey Miller says:

    I have to agree. The editing was atrocious and the film as a whole was unbearable. I can’t believe it could hardly stay on the shelves when it first came out. When I finally did rent it I was wishing for my hour and half back.

  8. Nick Rogers says:

    Gwinjay: It was one of those instances in which I was glad the movie was finally released, as it meant I no longer had to see the trailer 8,000 times a month between the TV and the multiplex. Thanks for reading!

    Kate: Yes, the gorilla arguably had more range than any of the humans. Thanks for reading!

    Llee: I always say this of a bad movie for which someone else picks up the tab: You are still out the time that you’ll never get back. But it’s still nice to not be out the money. Thanks for reading!

    PJ: It’s not the #1 worst film of the decade. That one’s coming up in a few weeks, but it’s certainly among the 10 worst. Thanks for reading!

    Caleb: Nicely put. Perhaps this one’s underperformance will keep them from resurfacing so often. Thanks for reading!

  9. Caleb says:

    why? why? Disney comedies have become the Wal-Mart of comedies: generic, cheap, and slowly destroying the planet.

  10. pjcombs says:

    There is a reason I didn’t rush out to see this. I’m glad that my initial thought is proven here with the #1 worst film.

  11. LLee says:

    I was hoping this was going to be a funny movie. I liked the scene with the gorilla. I am glad that I did not pay to see this movie!!

  12. KATE GREVEN says:

    I concur. This was one of the most banal movies I have ever seen. I rented it @ redbox one Friday night for my nieces & nephews (6,8,12) and I don’t think they even laughed once. They were good sports, though & wanted to watch it all of the way through, despite my prediction that it was never going to be funny. The gorilla was the only potential redeeming character.

  13. gwinjay says:

    even the trailer for this movie was enough for me