Okay, so it has been an “in fashion” thing over the last couple of years for films to focus on older folks having fun and Last Vegas features four childhood friends who are now old fogies celebrating their last singleton giving up the life. Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and starring Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Mary Steenburgen the film is about Douglas’s character finally tying the knot with a woman half his age.
The four friends meet up in Las Vegas for a bachelor party and along the way Paddy (De Niro) and Billy (Douglas) patch up their differences. When Paddy’s wife Sophie died, Billy never went to the funeral and the two former best friends have never reconciled that fact.
There is a lot to like about the film, Douglas playing his age, for instance and Martin Freeman cutting the rug pretty convincingly. Kevin Kline is on top form and De Niro manages to be pretty convincing as the down-in-the-mouth widower who misses his wife. Steenburgen looks terrific and manages to be alluring as ever.
Is the film hokey? The answer is a resounding yes, but…
It entertains and it hits all the right notes. The “Flatbush Four” are cute together and while there are no in-depth moments reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Hamlet or anything by Ibsen, there is never a dull moment and 50 Cent has a brilliantly funny cameo. Some of the gags in the film never quite mesh, but who cares? It is four old guys who are having fun and not worrying about whether their Depends are working properly.
The underlying theme of being as old as you feel works well and Douglas’ character’s romance with Steenburgen’s August torch singer works much better than the one with Diane Keaton’s similar torch singer in And So It Goes (2014). The son of Kirk seems to be attempting to play closer to his age and doing a pretty respectable job of it.
A comedy of oldsters that ends on a hopeful note and allows Douglas’ character to admit that the whole idea of marrying the younger woman was his fear of being old and alone. Again, not quite Shakespeare but still pretty good stuff set against the superficial glitz and glamor of Las Vegas.
The entire cast appear to relish their time in the casinos and playing the part of old men getting to feel young again. That said, none of the characters are over 70 and in this day and age that is not really too old.
All in all, Last Vegas is a fun little film with a cast to die for and performances from actors who rarely, if ever, disappoint. (Never mind the disastrous miscasting of Douglas in the above mentioned film.) A solid 3.5 out of 5 stars and watching the film is time well spent. The only shame was having the brilliant Michael Ealy do little more than roll his eyes and worry about his father Morgan Freeman. Watch this one if you don’t mind seeing old folks misbehave.