It would be very difficult to screw up a movie starring such screen legends as Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline, but Last Vegas (opening today) tries really hard to do so.
The four - Billy (Douglas), Paddy (De Niro), Sam (Kline) and Archie (Freeman) - star as childhood friends who have now grown old and grey. 58 years have passed since their heyday and Billy is about to get married to a woman more than half his age. So he calls up his old friends and invites them out to Vegas for a reunion/bachelor party...despite some bad blood that exists between Billy and Paddy.
Sam is given a free pass by his wife to have sex while in Vegas. Archie needs to sneak out from underneath the watchful eye of his son and the recently widowed Paddy is basically tricked into going...the poor guy. But don't fret, this is the sort of film where all of life's problems will be solved by the end credits.
Many will think, oh this sounds like "The Hangover" with old people...and that's not too far from the truth. Chalk up any forgetfulness to Alzheimer's instead of roofies.
There are definitely some laughs in Last Vegas, but nearly all of them are the easy, obvious ones. Here is an all-star cast given an absolutely sophomoric script to work with. Once in Vegas, the four encounter an aging lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen) and a mouthy little thug (Jerry Ferrara, Turtle from HBO's Entourage). Then, randomly, they judge a bikini contest hosted by LMFAO and they throw a hotel party attended by Cirque Du Soleil. You know, normal Vegas stuff.
In fact, their entire excursion in Vegas is created on a thin and hokey premise, where Archie wins over 100 grand at BlackJack. If he wouldn't have won (and the chances of winning that kind of dough in a few hours is null), then our boys wouldn't have had much to do except...I don't know...play Bingo or compare medications.
Get ready for nearly two hours of Viagra, Florida, wrinkles, vitality and prostrate jokes. If it could, Last Vegas would ask you to pull its finger.
But Last Vegas will surely please its target audience and is by no means awful...it's just not good, and when you consider the talented actors on screen, it is a downright, utter disappointment. What a joy it was though, to see Kevin Kline again, a brilliant physical comedian and actor who is not on the big screen enough these days. Morgan Freeman too, in a goofy role showing off a seldom-seen side.
Also look for a pretty funny cameo from rapper, 50 Cent. If you don't know who that is, don't worry, that means you fit exactly into this film's demographic.
Run Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated PG-13
Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco
Written by Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled, The Guilt Trip)
Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, Cool Runnings)
Opens locally on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 (check for show times).
Be sure to watch Tom Santilli on TV! Check your local listings for “Movie Show Plus” for Tom’s weekly movie review segment, airing every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. EST on MYTV20 in Detroit.
How to read Tom Santilli's "Star Ratings:"
- 5 Stars: Exceptional, must-see movie
- 4 Stars: Very good movie, not without flaws
- 3 Stars: The movie was just OK, leaves a lot to be desired
- 2 Stars: Pretty bad, a let-down, disappointing, but with some redeeming qualities
- 1 Star: Awful, sloppy, a total waste of time