Old Dogs (PG)

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The Independent Culture

And the same old fleas.

This family comedy seems to have been devised by some sadist enclave in the Disney corporation: how else to explain the repulsive combination of Robin Williams and John Travolta as best pals and business partners who discover their inner child? Williams plays a worrywart who no sooner discovers that he's got twin children from a one-night stand with Kelly Preston than he's offering to help babysit them while Mom's "in jail" for two weeks (don't ask – though it wasn't, surprisingly, for offences against cinema). And, of course he recruits Travolta as co-guardian, doubling the bulk but reducing the fun to absolute invisibility. The film, like The Spy Next Door, is interesting only insofar as it reflects current attitudes to children. Hollywood, a lotus land of infantilism, regards children as sacred monsters who have to be appeased at all costs, and adults – even determined bachelor-types such as these – can only prove their humanity by becoming just like them.