At the end of this weak comedy is a strange and touching scene in which Bill Cosby and his childhood pals from Philadelphia, now elderly men, gather at the grave of Albert Robertson, the real-life inspiration for Cosby's bighearted Fat Albert.
Fat Albert manages to talk down to two generations of pop-cult consumers - the Boomers and the Gen-Xers - while leaving no reason for their uncategorized offspring to join in on the Hey! Hey! Hey! chants.
In the old days, Fat Albert faced real world problems ... issues that certainly still exist, except in today's Hollywood, where the worst thing that can happen to a child is not having a date for the afterschool rave.
A clunky mix of animated hijinx, live-action farce and inspirational uplift, Fat Albert is flat-footed and ham-handed in its attempt to reconstitute a popular '70s TV cartoon show as a full-length, family-skewing feature.
Squandering comic opportunities at every turn, the film is content to adhere to a mantra of 'when in doubt, dance' rather than finding any clever entertaining ways to punctuate the prolonged moralizing.