Bill Burr’s latest comedy is too old to be funny.
Bill Burr makes his directorial debut of “Old Dads,” a would-be made-for-Netflix comedy that’s good on his words than it is on its comedy. That means it expresses its issues on different generations of parenting and fads, while it’s humor is as funny as listening to the same kind of jokes at the dinner table. You know. The ones people think are original, while there are those who fake laughing just to be nice.
Burr’s best movie performance was in “The King of Staten Island” and his best series role was on “F is for Family.” Those roles allow him to use his vulgar dialogue and attitude, and in “Old Dads,” he keeps those qualities, but he can’t direct these supporting actors or script in the right sense.
We meet 3 middle-aged men: Jack (Burr), Connor (Bobby Cannavale), and Mike (Bokeem Woodbine), who all have kids later in their lives. Jack has anger issues, which would threaten his child’s education, Connor’s little boy screams his head off, which is a result of his wife’s (Jackie Tohn) indulgence (or whatever the Hell she does with him), and Mike’s current girlfriend (Reign Edwards) is pregnant, which makes him scared.
They all run a company that sells throwback jerseys. That is until, they get a new owner in the form of a millennial named Aspen Bell (Miles Robbins), who fires anyone born before 1988, and that’s half the company. And when that jerk fires them for talking inappropriately in a rental car, which they didn’t know the company would film them for insurance purposes.
Jack’s pregnant wife Leah (Katie Aselton) tries to be his voice of reasoning, and has grown tired of his behavior, especially when he calls the bossy preschool teacher (Rachael Harris) the “C” word.
I’ve gotten two laughs in this movie. One regards N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Comption,” and the other is when Jack gets into an argument with a motel manager (Paul Walter Hauser) about the difference between smoking a cigar and smoking a vape. As a made-for-Netflix comedy of its kind, it isn’t as deadly as “Me Time” or “The Out-Laws,” but it’s basically the same as saying a dry turkey sandwich is better than an undercooked cheeseburger. And I like mine medium well.
Burr and Woodbine both have likability in their characters, while Cannavale overacts with less charisma and more zaniness. And the most aggravating performance in the movie comes from the great and ageless Bruce Dern as a driver, who deserves 0-stars on the app. If his character was my driver, I’d tell him off. If I must take an Uber, I would want them to be nice to me. I don’t take kindly to pushy or mean people.
But I don’t want to make this review a poem on how to treat others the way you would like to be treated. I want to make this review about “Old Dads.” You think the story will go one way, according to the trailer, but it ends up taking a different direction with Jack’s wife kicking him out of the house for his behavior, and Connor’s wife refusing to let them see each other. I liked the anger problems expressed by Burr, and I wouldn’t blame his character for criticizing how people have to raise and educate kids nowadays. But I disliked this movie for its comedic choices and typical characters.
Streaming on Netflix
This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA strike.