An entertaining old dogs on a last hurrah movie. Last Vegas is far removed from being mistaken as art, it’s a rather cookie-cutter commercial programmer, but if you’ve liked these guys in the past then you will like them here. Michael Douglas acts the least old as Billy, a bronzed Malibu bigwig who betroths a girl forty years younger than him for a Vegas wedding. Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert DeNiro are three brittle-bones old-timers who escape their boring lives to hatch a Vegas bachelor party for their longtime pal. Of the cast, only DeNiro is too much of a sourpuss spoiling the party.
The high-jinks of the movie are down-to-earth enough to buy, which is a surprise for a post-“Hangover” Vegas movie. In other words, the grumpy old men have a reasonable and believable good time without it being too ridiculous. The fact that they catch on slowly at times is what makes it funny, such as a scene where gramps tries to bribe a doorman at a hopping nightclub with a whopping $10 to get his boys in.
Our old-timers obtain a penthouse with a rotating bed, become bikini contest judges, pretend to be East Coast mob kingpins and throw one lavish party. Under the surface, each cad has his own baggage: Archie (Freeman) is a stroke victim with an overprotective worrywarts son, Sam (Kline) is fearing the old age doldrums so badly that his wife gifts him permission to have protected sex in Vegas with whomever, while Paddy (DeNiro) is feeling the aches of being a widower. As for Billy, he has no apparent flaws, other than the brewing one that he’s about to enter a loveless marriage with a tot.
I liked Freeman groovin’ like he’s young again – he flatters all the young ladies freshly but appropriately. But truly, the movie wouldn’t be half as decent if it wasn’t for the glowing Mary Steenburgen as a lonely-hearts nightclub singer (Really, she plays it smart, plays it real), ripe for romance, and alas, brings out bitter rivalry between Douglas and DeNiro. “Last Vegas” could have been a drooling old perverts movie, but Steenburgen saves the day with her radiance and class. And she makes these old fools act their age.
94 Minutes. Rated R.
COMEDY / ADULT ORIENTATION / WEEKEND DEBAUCHERY
Film Cousins: “Going in Style” (1979); “Grumpy Old Men” (1993); “The Bucket List” (2007); “Stand Up Guys” (2013).