Last Vegas: Movie Review
Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert de Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Forget the Rat Pack, here comes the OAP Pack
Billy (Douglas), Paddy (de Niro), Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) are old friends since they were kids growing up in the Bronx.
Now in the later years of their life, and with old age causing them various ravages - except for Billy, whose permatanned look shows no signs of him growing up - they all lead separate and distant lives. Paddy is a widower, who refuses to leave his apartment after his sweetheart's death; Archie has been crippled by a minor stroke and his family insist he takes things easy and Sam is a man who's lost his mojo, living in Florida and being slowly killed by the retirement lifestyle.
So, when Billy proposes to his 30-something girlfriend while delivering a friend's eulogy, the group's reunited for the marriage and bachelor party in Vegas. For each of them, it's a chance to regain their youth and live again - but for Billy and Paddy, there's vitriol in the air as a long time simmering tension reaches a head...
Last Vegas is quite simply, The Hangover for the OAP generation - but without the gross out laughs or the extreme debauchery. In their place is a bikini contest and an ongoing gag about a condom and Viagra.
While the quartet have an easy chemistry and a great bond - with Douglas once again showing why he's such a permanent presence on screen, the writing is nothing short of predictable and the gags incredibly lame and easily gentle. And yet, one or two of them elicit laughs - from Kline's character's quick asides (calling Billy a hazelnut) to Freeman's incredible charisma and charm, there's nothing offensive about what transpires on screen.
Sure, the character arcs and predictable denouements can be seen a mile off - from Billy's inevitable realisation and acceptance of his age, to Paddy's gradual acquiescence over Billy's snub; from Sam's realisation that a chance to play away from home is nothing but a sham given he loves his wife to Archie's journey towards taking it easy, these characters will be appreciated by the older generation, looking for some easy and gentle laughs.
Last Vegas delivers every predictable laugh you'd expect, mocking age and the ravages of time and creaking as much as the actor's joints; there's nothing new and original here. In fact, if anything it feels a little old school in many ways - but you know what, this journey to Vegas is worth the trip if you fancy watching some old pros dial it in.