Last Vegas

Screenwriter Dan Fogelman writes kids movies, like the Disney animated films Cars 2 and Tangled, and movies that appeal to the over-forty crowd, like Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Guilt Trip. His latest, Last Vegas, is a septuagenarian version of The Hangover that teams Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as ageing childhood friends who go to Vegas to throw a bachelor party for Douglas. As the great stars of the 1970s and ‘80s have gotten older we’re starting to see a lot of comedies of this ilk--The Bucket List, Space Cowboys, Grumpy Old Men and the two Red movies.  Most of these pictures are sloppy and forgettable, but occasionally one comes up with some good laughs. At first, Last Vegas seems like it might be the rare old-age comedy that really delivers. After a goofy pre-credit sequence, the film’s set-up is quite funny, featuring some decent and not entirely predictable jokes about being long-in-the-tooth. The four senior stars all look great and seem set to have a good time being in this movie together. Douglas and Freeman have essentially gotten to keep playing their typical roles well into their sixties and seventies but De Niro and Kline have been lost in a series of wacky-old-dad roles for nearly a decade. This time the film seems to get the tone and chemistry right for each actor, and when they land in Vegas director Jon Turteltaub nicely captures the enjoyably off-balance sensation you have when arriving in that one-of-a-kind city in the cold light of day. The introduction of “the girl” in this picture, Mary Steenburgen, is also handled well. Steenburgen is always welcome in a movie, though the sixty-year-old actress seems to have had some face-work that will likely limit her future performances to roles that don’t require crying (or blinking). Though the film is clearly going to be formulaic, it seems like it will be an entertaining 90 minutes--until the four guys really start to hit the town. Then Last Vegas becomes the limp, contrived, unfunny comedy I expected it to be, complete with icky scenes of the geezers ogling twenty year-old bikini-clad babes and all the expected and obvious “old” jokes that will only be funny to people so ancient that their memories are shot. The picture wears out its welcome around the halfway point and never recovers, making it even worse than this year’s other De Niro disaster, The Big Wedding.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Produced by Laurence Mark, Amy Baer, and Joseph Drake

Written by Dan Fogelman

With: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco, Roger Bart, Joanna Gleason, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson

Cinematography: David Hennings
Editing: David Rennie
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

Runtime: 105 min
Release Date: 01 November 2013
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1