Bachelors looking after babies... we've seen it before, several times, and all of them better than this effort.

Dan (Williams) and Charlie (Travolta) have been friends since childhood, sharing in all the major milestones in each other's lives. Now middle-aged, they each find themselves alone, for different reasons. And whereas Charlie embraces his single lifestyle, and has the bachelor pad to prove it, Dan laments that he never got the opportunity to become a father.

But, fear not, as luck would have it, Dan is father to twins that he never knew existed. And when their mother (Preston) is sent to jail, Dan is about to find out first-hand what it's like to raise children - and he's dragging Charlie along for the ride.

Zach (Rayburn) and Emily (EB Travolta) aren't exactly problem children but Charlie and Dan soon find themselves out of their depth anyway, especially in light of the fact that they are also negotiating the biggest business deal of their lives.

We're treated to the usual tame banter from here on in – with a mix-up with pills, crossed wires with a video conference and a prickly encounter with an overgrown boy scout named Barry (Dillon) among the adventures. But, unfortunately, laughs are in shortly supply in all of the above and the movie begins to drag before it even gets off the ground.

Neither Williams nor Travolta are at their best here, struggling with the flimsy script and predictable plotline. Dillon adds a touch of humour to proceedings in his brief cameo but it's not enough to save this sinking ship.

Lacking in imagination and any kind of originality, 'Old Dogs' doesn't try too hard to impress and, as a result, fizzles out before the half-way point. You shouldn't be looking at your watch during a movie that is only 88 minutes long but you'll have a hole worn in your sleeve with this one. Avoid.

Linda McGee