Does your dad say things at inappropriate times? Does he joke about how “this generation” is weak and consumed with social media? Is he balding? Then Old Dads is the movie for him, and maybe you, depending on how well your relationship is with your father and/or comedians.
Bill Burr‘s new movie Old Dads is just what the people want to see: men mildly complaining and cursing a lot. But unlike other films about men doing stuff, the comedian‘s film follows a group of “old dads” including Burr, who is determined to raise a “little man, not a f-cking p-ssy” while also calling his son’s teacher a “c-nt” so that’s the type of vibe going into this movie, which currently has an extremely divisive Rotten Tomatoes score. The movie also stars Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine.
While some critics were into the bit, others felt like the movie didn’t quite land well and the schtick was a little overdone.
Brittany Witherspoon, Screen Rant:
It isn’t the worst directorial debut by any means of the phrase, but Burr’s raunchy comedy fails to say something meaningful. Instead, it underwhelms.
David Ehrlich, IndieWire:
The whole does it offend you, yeah? routine only works if someone commits to it, and Burr is too much of a softy at heart to go all the way. He doesn’t want to piss people off, he just wants to air his grievances about progressive culture; “Old Dads” is anti-woke comedy for people who want to shake their fists at clouds without signing up for Ron DeSantis’ stormtroopers.
Mark Kennedy, AP:
A meandering, unfunny assault on PC culture that would seem perfectly in place in the 1990s alongside “Illiberal Education” by Dinesh D’Souza and the rantings of Pat Buchanan. It’s so dated there’s even a mention of Halliburton.
Nate Richard, Collider:
You can tell that everybody on the set of Old Dads was having an absolute blast making this movie. It’s just a shame that the end product feels so directionless and bland. The attempts to be offensive fail, the emotional beats are never effective, and despite a handful of good laughs and amusing cameos, it’s never that funny. Burr is a force to be reckoned with on the stage, but his directorial debut is the exact opposite.
On the other hand, maybe the point was that Burr wasn’t the one to tell this story. Some critics believed that it was, for all intents and purposes, fine for what it is.
John Serba, Decider:
The result is a men-behaving-badly comedy that isn’t afraid to question that bad behavior, or sometimes venture into the realm of medium-heavy domestic drama. It’s uneven in its pacing, a patchwork of scenes that just barely hold together thanks to the strength of Burr’s credibility as one of the world’s best working standups, which helps cover for his lack of polish as a filmmaker
Frank Scheck, The Hollywoord Reporter:
If you find Burr’s stand-up routines funny, you’ll enjoy Old Dads, which also benefits from Cannavale’s hilariously beleaguered reactions, Woodbine’s solid underplaying and some very funny turns by a variety of comedians in small roles.
Is Bill Burr the one who should be preaching to millennials about wokeness? Probably not, but he did it anyway, so if that’s your jam, Old Dads is on Netflix now.