The ideal way to watch Last Vegas is roughly two hours into a flight from Seattle to Baltimore, pretty much after the Chex Mix has been handed out and that issue of “Entertainment Weekly” has been flipped through already. In short, Last Vegas is not good, but you won’t hate your life if you end up having to see it either.
The movie features a quartet of Oscar winners; Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. They play former childhood best friends, all living out their “later years” in various physical conditions and cities. They find themselves brought back together when Douglas’ rich bachelor finally settles down, with a far younger woman of course. Freeman and Kline are elated to get away from the monotony of their lives; even if said lives include caring family members. Mr. De Niro is less enamored with the thought, having had a severe fallout with Douglas in the year prior. Nevertheless, they all end up boozing, gambling and the like in Las Vegas; as is the parlance of our times.
There are the expected jokes about Viagra and how whacky it is when older people try to get their groove on with the ladies, though far less of these traits than one might expect. Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) and scripted by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love), Last Vegas is largely inoffensive or good. It kind of just shows up and lets itself out, hoping the collage of acting talent its wrangled will make you laugh and possibly cry along the way. The latter never sniffs possibility; a plot about losing the one you loved most lands with a thud, Oscar champions be damned. These moments fail to gain stature since, frankly, it’s hard to get properly invested between oral sex jokes and that one dude from LFMAO shaking his junk in an elderly man’s face. But hey, call me old fashioned.
A few things do connect. Kline lifts the material time and again, with something as simple as an odd cadence to his delivery garnering a giggle. A scene in which the foursome trick someone into thinking they’re all gangsters is worthwhile, particularly when Kline struggles to act tough and concoct a appropriately intimidating nickname. It's a minor gesture to quality, one that exits the mind almost immediately. Yet, it'd be a lie to call the film utter garbage; it's frankly unnecessary. Well, unless the Chex Mix is out and your time-zones skipping a few beats.
Last Vegas opens wide all across Seattle tomorrow.