SYNOPSIS: Starring four legends like you've never seen them before, LAST VEGAS tells the story of Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam (played by Academy-Award winners Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline), best friends since childhood. 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.
REVIEW: Simply put, when you combine 2009’s The Hangover with Grumpy Old Men (1993), you get this: Director Jon Turteltaub’s (National Treasure, 2007) Last Vegas. It does have quite the iconic ensemble cast, to say the least. It’s like watching The Expendables (2010) cast party in Las Vegas instead of going to war or witnessing Rambo and The Terminator break out of prison, in Escape Plan (2013). With this crazy (by senior standards) bachelor party, we see the likes of, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Michael Douglas. The Oscar winning actors more or less play versions of their onscreen and off-screen personas we’ve all come to associate them with in the past.
Rocking an orange spray tan that must have been left over after filming the Liberace movie, Michael Douglas plays Billy, a wealthy playboy-wannabe marrying a woman half his age that he’s not in love with, but she makes him feel youthful. Robert De Niro’s Paddy is a cantankerous tough guy who’s unhappy and majorly depressed after losing his wife of nearly fifty years and is simply content with sitting on a couch with his feet up for the rest of his life. Morgan Freeman’s Archie is wise and nonchalant, but in a role-reversal his son has begun to worry about his aging father and has taken on the role of guardian…this is often at the expense of treating Archie like a child. Providing lots of the slapstick comic relief is Kevin Kline’s Sam, a high-strung man on edge after being given permission by his wife to have a fling in Vegas.
I have to admit, I’m usually a bit skeptical when I see a movie parade a chain of A-List stars, to promote its release. So much so, that it is arguably quite often compensating for some deficiency in the film. A most recent case of this would be Ridley Scott’s The counselor (2013). However, I’m happy to say that this isn’t the case for this flick. I actually left the theater surprised at how charismatic and hilarious the movie turned out to be. It’s not only a celebration of friendship, but sets a great example of the old adage ‘just because someone is growing old, doesn’t mean they’re dead.’
All in all, Last Vegas is a flick that is fabulous in concept, but much more hilarious in practice. Seeing these over-the-hill actors party like “its 1969,” may sound like a cheesy endeavor, but Dan Fogelman’s (Cars, 2006) script gives us loads of play-by-play laughs from beginning to end. That being said, it does stay safe enough on the Vegas antics and language for it to be watchable by all audiences and is certainly a great movie to treat the grandparents or parents to for a nice time at the movies. Four stars out of five might just be me being a little generous, but is still a fair assessment for comedic delivery and star-power
By Movi-Man Stan
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