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Review: Last Vegas – Should have stayed in Vegas

Posted by on November 1, 2013 – 7:45 am

Last VegasAs if “The Hangover” had not already run the “friends carousing in Vegas” routine into the ground, now we have four well-respected veteran actors taking the premise into geriatric territory. The new film Last Vegas makes a good case for the rule, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” because if they had kept it there we could have avoided this predictable, nap-inducing farce altogether.

Four life-long friends, Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline), meet in Vegas for Billy’s bachelor party as he is getting ready to marry a woman half his age. The four buddies are in their sixties and suffering from age-induced ailments such as hip replacements, strokes, loneliness and, of course, erectile dysfunction.

Along the way the friends meet a lounge singer, Diana (Mary Steenburgen), and they all fall in love with the charismatic woman, who is approximately their same age. Billy and Paddy take a special liking to Diana, which stirs up a rivalry they’ve had since they were kids growing up together, and even though he’s getting married, Billy thinks he’s now found true love with this older woman.

Last VegasVegas wackiness ensues as we see the old-timers gambling at the casinos, socializing with transvestites, going to nightclubs and excessively drinking. Who knew old guys could do all that? If this is a surprise to you, then you might find this movie amusing (the audience I saw it with certainly did), but if you are already pretty confident that Morgan Freeman could bust a smooth dance move if he wanted to, then this movie doesn’t have much to offer you.

The cast is okay considering the lame script that they had to work with by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) Freeman is always a pleasure to watch and it was good to see Kevin Kline again (although I hated his condom-toting character), but Michael Douglas’ leathery-orange suntanned skin was distracting and De Niro (yes, I’m talking to you) basically plays Robert De Niro — again. The standout is Mary Steenburgen, who looks great and does an excellent job playing a classy lady amongst this group of decrepit dumb guys.

 Last VegasLast Vegas is directed by Jon Turteltaub of National Treasure fame and it has about the same amount of laughs. I think I only chuckled once or twice during this film, which was mostly a chore to sit through. The comedy was as old as the stars of the movie and I’m not sorry to say that Viagra pill gags lost their comedic potency in a long, long time ago.

To be fair I believe there is an audience for this movie, one with a demographic that is probably around the same age range as the characters in the film and that thinks the Golden Girls was the best television show ever. But I also think the “geezer generation” can still appreciate a movie with a little more intelligence, instead of old and tired junk that Hollywood assumes they’ll like. Grade: 4/10

Photos © 2013 CBS Films