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Last Vegas - Movie Review

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Last Vegas - Movie Review

3 stars

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:  Four friends enter the city limits of Las Vegas for some casual hedonism…

Yeah, I thought so.

There’s certainly nothing new in Last Vegas and, if you are anything like me, very little in the commercials to entice you to dish out the dough just to see old men behaving badly in very familiar territory.  Four men – no matter how beloved Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline are – well past their prime, acting like juveniles on a watered-down Spring Break, definitely has its limitations especially if the material is not playing to their strengths.

Much of what follows in Jon Turteltaub’s movie is sophomoric at best.   Friends reunite.  Kline gets the laughs.  There are several moral dilemmas.  This is a picture about life after the death of a loved one; life after a stroke.  You know, the happy stuff – living before it is too late.  It just happens to bear more than a little resemblance to past hits.

Acknowledging all that, Last Vegas manages to be something a tad bit more than the geriatric version of The Hangover.  A tad bit.  Yes, there are old men wandering around with condoms and little blue pills jingle-jangling in their pockets.  And, yes, it’s every bit as predictable as it sounds, yet the movie manages to tug on some serious heart strings courtesy of a fine performance from Douglas.

Written by Dan Fogelman, Last Vegas and its mostly telegraphed humor is about four childhood friends now in their 70’s having a bachelor party in Vegas for the spray-tanned last holdout among them, Billy (Douglas), who impulsively proposes to his 30-year-old fiancée (Weronika Rosati).

Thankfully, the four actors are heavyweights in the Oscar department and manage to pull off – just barely – the lighter than air script with less AARP sentimentality than expected.  The actors can still throw a punch; still cut a rug; still nail humor; and still draw a crowd even if it is only for nostalgia’s sake.

What they can’t do is match the talents of Mary Steenburgen as the tempting torch singer who steals two hearts and the show at every opportunity.  We should be thankful that her talent saves the picture from itself.  We should also be thankful that the producers saw fit to actually cast a 60-year-old female in the role instead of rolling – as they usually do – with someone younger.  She is definitely the real reason to see Last Vegas.

This ensemble picture isn’t quite the paycheck movie it sounds like it is for these actors.  While it’s bi-polar at best – going from sad to happy to trashy in a matter of seconds – and wildly inconsistent, there’s a certain dignity about Last Vegas that saves it – just barely – from being a total loss.

Last vegas - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and language.
Runtime:
105 mins
Director
: Jon Turteltaub
Writer
: Dan Fogelman
Cast:
Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
It's going to be legendary
Memorable Movie Quote: "I haven't been this hungover in 30 years."
Distributor:
CBS Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 1, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No Details available

Synopsis: Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) have been best friends since childhood. So when Billy, the group's sworn bachelor, finally proposes to his thirty-something (of course) girlfriend, the four head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined. The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it's these four who are taking over Vegas.

No details available

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