Directed by Andrew Fleming, starring Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, David Suchet, Candice Bergen, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds and Lindsay Stone.

After so many mismatched buddy comedies, it must be hard coming up with zany new pairings. "Cowboy and Chinese Imperial Guard?" Check. "Streetwise black guy and nerdy white guy"? Check. "Geeky doctor and spy"? Triple check.

Sadly, 'The In-Laws', a remake of the 1979 movie of the same name, has chosen to resurrect the "geeky doctor and spy" one. And if the writers having to remake a movie that hasn't even reached middle age makes you suspicious, go with that instinct. It isn't just in its premise that this movie lacks originality.

Jerry (Brooks) is the doctor, whose daughter is getting married to the son of CIA spy Steve (Douglas). It's a week before the wedding, and Steve is on the trail of a missing nuclear submarine. Inevitably, Jerry becomes involved too, and the duo embarks on a series of desperately unfunny adventures.

Douglas is on auto-pilot for the entire movie, and while Brooks is enjoyably nerdy, their buddy thing just doesn't work. They aren't convincing as enemies or friends, thanks mainly to the execrable script.

Whereas the original was written by the author of 'Blazing Saddles', the update is penned by the man behind 'Dr Doolittle' - and it shows. Jerry and Steve jet from one tedious situation to the next, with the usual claptrap moral lessons tacked on about Jerry teaching Steve how to be a better father.

The supporting cast are a mix of the irritating (the engaged couple, played by Reynolds and Sloane) and the excellent (Suchet as a camp smuggler, French enough to give the 'Matrix's Merovingian a run for his money). The one shining light is Steve's embittered ex-wife, played to perfection by Candice Bergen from TV's 'Murphy Brown'.

But a good cast can't save the fact that this movie's mix of dodgy action scenes and gay jokes would've been dated when the original came out, 24 years ago. Avoid the way most people would their mother-in-law.

Gearóid Reidy