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Film Review: Netflix’s ‘Old Dads’ Repetitively Rehashes Outdated Cultural Complaints and Marks a Low Point in Bill Burr’s Career

by Andrew Wright
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Netflix's Old Dads Review

The latest Netflix offering, “Old Dads,” suffers from a misnomer. A more accurate title might be “Old Dads Shouting at the Sky” or “Old Dads Venting at QR Codes.” The film caters to an audience who struggle with the streaming service’s interface and proceed to lay the blame on the younger, “woke” generation.

Directed by Bill Burr, who also co-wrote the script with Ben Tishler, the film offers a lackluster and humorless critique of political correctness. It echoes the sentiments found in 1990s works like “Illiberal Education” by Dinesh D’Souza and the outspoken diatribes of Pat Buchanan. The film’s stale nature is underscored by a conspicuous reference to Halliburton.

The film opens with the Miramax logo and the strains of a rock guitar solo, both of which signify a retreat to an era when ridiculing the sizes of Starbucks cups was considered amusing.

In the film, Burr portrays a 51-year-old father who is expecting a second child. He incessantly complains about modern inconveniences such as the dearth of parking spaces, electric scooters, early childhood education norms, social media, emotional intelligence education, vaping, and paper straws. This hardly constitutes groundbreaking comedy.

Burr is joined by Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine, whose onscreen personas are similarly tarnished through their participation in this film, as they lampoon topics like transgender identity and the concept of privilege.

In one interaction, a younger character accuses Burr of being dated and disconnected, to which Burr retorts by citing the younger generation’s penchant for filming trivial activities like water bottle flipping.

As the film progresses, the characters encounter a new, 28-year-old boss who considers himself an innovator. This does nothing but inflame their ire, already stoked by baiting comments and a reluctance to adapt to modern sensibilities.

The film delves into the pitfalls of the characters’ personal lives as well, with relationships strained and spousal dynamics becoming tense. Burr’s character exemplifies a Gen-Xer who is defiantly confrontational, choosing to lash out without regard for the fallout. His actions lead to tensions within his family, particularly with his expectant wife.

In a particularly distasteful sequence, the older characters attempt to goad a younger individual into using a racial slur, ostensibly to highlight generational hypocrisy. This scene not only fails in its aim but also borrows its concept from another Netflix film, “You People.”

The movie’s nadir perhaps occurs in a strip club, where the characters arrive at self-realizations—though not of the kind that would make them better human beings. Instead, they accept their inability to change, concluding that it’s too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

In summary, the film “Old Dads,” available for streaming on Netflix as of this Friday, is rated R for “extensive coarse language, sexual content, nudity, and brief substance abuse.” With a runtime of 104 minutes, it earns a rating of zero out of four stars.

For those considering whether to invest their time in this film, it may be more rewarding to spend those 100 minutes watching water bottles ascend and descend in the air.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Netflix’s Old Dads Review

What is the central theme of the Netflix movie “Old Dads”?

The central theme of “Old Dads” revolves around a critique of modern culture and political correctness, as seen from the perspective of older men who find it difficult to adapt to current societal norms.

Who directed and wrote the script for “Old Dads”?

Bill Burr directed the movie and co-wrote the script with Ben Tishler.

Does the film succeed in providing fresh and relevant commentary?

The film fails to offer any groundbreaking or relevant commentary, relying instead on stale cultural critiques that would have been more appropriate in the 1990s.

Who stars in “Old Dads” alongside Bill Burr?

Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine star alongside Bill Burr in the movie.

What is the film’s rating and runtime?

The film is rated R for “extensive coarse language, sexual content, nudity, and brief substance abuse.” It has a runtime of 104 minutes.

What does the review suggest as an alternative to watching “Old Dads”?

The review suggests that viewers might find it more rewarding to spend their time watching water bottles flip in the air rather than investing 104 minutes in this film.

Does the film borrow concepts from other works?

Yes, one of the film’s scenes, which attempts to goad a younger individual into using a racial slur, borrows its concept from another Netflix film called “You People.”

How many stars does the review give to “Old Dads”?

The review gives the film a rating of zero out of four stars.

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