Last Vegas (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner23/12/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Watchable comedy enlivened by likeable performances from all four leads, but it's neither as emotionally engaging nor as laugh-out-loud funny as it thinks it is, and the script is entirely predictable.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jon Turteltaub, Last Vegas stars Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam, four seventysomething childhood friends who reunite in Las Vegas for Billy's bachelor party. The various sub-plots are as follows: widower Paddy is feuding with Billy because he didn't come to his wife's funeral; Archie is looking forward to some time away from his over-protective family because he's recently had a stroke; Sam is thrilled to have been given a “free pass” be unfaithful in Vegas by his very understanding wife (Joanna Gleason); and Billy falls for lounge singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen), despite being about to marry a woman in her 30s (Bre Blair).

The Good
All four Oscar-winning leads deliver likeable performances, even if none of them are particularly stretching themselves (De Niro is in grumpy mode throughout, Freeman his usual twinkly self, etc). Similarly, Mary Steenburgen delivers a rather charming performance as Diana (who's romanced by both De Niro and Douglas) and there's strong support from Romany Malco (as Vegas hotel employee Lonnie) and Jerry Ferrara (Entourage's Turtle) as an obnoxious young man who becomes their general dogsbody after they convince him that they're all mobsters.

Despite the obvious attempts to cash in on the likes of The Hangover (one reviewer joked that it should be called The Comb-over), Last Vegas is actually surprisingly tame and thankfully keeps the bodily function jokes to a minimum. That said, it doesn't aim particularly high and never generates any really big laughs as a result, settling for mild amusement throughout.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is the script, which misjudges several of its intended comedy moments (such as the guys judging a bikini contest) and is entirely predictable throughout – consequently, there's not a single surprise and there's no sense of anything actually being at stake, so none of the emotional scenes really ring true. Indeed, you can probably guess every single outcome correctly just from the synopsis above.

Worth seeing?
The banter between the four Oscar-winning leads ensures that Last Vegas remains watchable throughout, but the script plays it too safe and it's nowhere near as much fun as it could have been.

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Last Vegas (M)
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Content updated: 22/01/2020 02:43

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