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 girlfriend (Bre Blair), 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 realise 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.
Review by Louise Keller:
Screenwriter Dan Fogelman has come up with some good scripts - namely Cars (2006), Bolt (2008), Tangled (2010) and Crazy, Stupid Love (2011). Talking cars, a dog that thinks he's a super hero, a twist on Rapunzel plus divorce, swingers and one-night stands. He has also come up with some real duds like the misconceived Fred Claus (2006), the repetitive Cars 2 (2011) and The Guilt Trip (2012) which tried so hard it was rather bland.
Suffice to say that Last Vegas is not one of Fogelman's good scripts. Like The Guilt Trip, that relied heavily on the casting of Seth Rogan against the diva Barbra Streisand, this flimsy premise of four sixty-something guys heading to Vegas for a last hurrah is counting on the star power of its four stars with little else to offer. That's not to say it's not fun to see Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Klein together on screen, but the D-cup, Viagra, bathrobe and transvestite material demeans them.
Played for laughs, director Jon Turteltaub works every predictable scenario and the not so funny jokes about ageing, dying, infidelity and sexual prowess are thrust at us like an unwieldy javelin that flies through the air and keeps coming. I did chuckle at the line about Michael Douglas' girlfriend being the same age as Morgan Freeman's hemorrhoids but I suppose that is scraping bottom - as it were.
The key plot line involves an old rift between Billy and Paddy, who fell in love with the same girl years ago and there's a contrived plot to echo the sentiment involving Mary Steenburgen as a Vegas lounge singer. The bikini babe competition by the pool is probably the film's low point, when the heavy breasted babes with g-string bikini bottoms bring a sleaze factor instead of smiles to the proceedings. Turteltaub fails miserably to inject any Vegas buzz - apart from a few establishment shots of the strip, the film could have been shot anywhere.
Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Klein deserve far better than this - and so do you.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Those coming of aged movies just keep coming and this one manages to take the four men friends to Las Vegas, as if they were in the 20s - yeah, for a bachelor party. The last remaining bachelor, Billy (Michael Douglas) is getting married, but fittingly enough for his playboy lifestyle and immature sensibilities, she's young enough to be his daughter. His friends tease him mercilessly about it, and the screenplay grabs every opportunity to pile it on. Likewise the aged jokes - that is, jokes about getting old, infirm and uncool.
Sex is spoken about a lot and there is a muted romance in which Mary Steenburgen plays a Vegas lounge singer who attracts the attention of the holidaying friends - some more than others. But it's a signposted affair, if you'll pardon the pun.
What little tension there is, is wedged into the situation via a simmering feud between Billy and Paddy (Robert De Niro) which goes back to the time when they both fell for the same girl. Around that cliché is built the only bit of conflict. It's predictable and formulaic stuff, and there isn't a surprise in Vegas, either. The glitz, the girls, the grog, the gambling and the goons on the door ... The willingness of these stars to ham it up as old codgers is the only real surprise, notably the suave Kevin Kline, who dons a grey beard and a cap to help him play the part. Morgan Freeman manages on his bonhomie.
And with stars of this calibre, the movie can't be all bad, and it ain't. It's just hollow. For starters, we don't believe they are close friends. It doesn't feel as though they've seen each other much even though we're told they are bosom buddies. There's no proof, only a bit of schmaltz to glue them together at the end.
The senior citizens of this manufactured world have the same juvenile mindset as younger characters doing the same thing in movies too numerous to mention. Perhaps it's the filmmakers ...
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LAST VEGAS (M)
CAST: Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Jena Sims, Mary Steenburgen, Weronika Rosati,
PRODUCER: Amy Baer, Joseph Drake, Laurence Mark
DIRECTOR: Jon Turtletaub
SCRIPT: Dan Fogelman
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Hennings
EDITOR: David Rennie
MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David J. Bomba
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 6, 2014