Friday, November 1, 2013

Last Vegas Movie Review

Michael Douglas stars in Last Vegas

The Flatbush Four Rides Again

Raise your hand if you don't like Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. No takers? I didn't think so. Jon Turteltaub's Last Vegas is G.O.A. (gold-on-arrival) a lively comedy that's equal parts funny and sentimental with a touch of hokey mixed in for good measure.

IMDb Plot: Billy (Douglas), Paddy (De Niro), Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) have been best friends since childhood. So when Billy, the group's sworn bachelor, finally proposes to his thirty-something (of course) girlfriend, the four head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined. The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it's these four who are taking over Vegas.

What’s Best: While it's a bit sobering to see four Oscar winners closing in on the twilight of their careers, there's no denying the fact that each star still has plenty left in their respective tanks. Douglas is great as the unofficial "leader of the pack," who's finally willing to walk down the aisle. Like dad Kirk, I expect Michael to keep that twinkle in his eye for years to come. Who else could get away with asking someone to marry him... in the middle of a funeral?

De Niro meanwhile, is the ultimate curmudgeon; although I'd prefer to see more of his lighter side in a movie like this. For Freeman, Last Vegas looks and feels a lot like his turn in Red... only with more dancing. He even manages to solicit laughs off-screen, via a note to his family explaining his whereabouts, 'Went on a church retreat. (Church people are very safe.') Big laughs. Finally, Kline delights as the fourth horseman who rolls into Vegas with a one-time pass to fool around. By the time the guys are chosen to judge a bikini contest, they can do no wrong.

What’s Not: Last Vegas comes dangerously close to corny, especially Mary Steenburgen as an age-appropriate romantic interest. She's a bit "too good to be true," despite still wowing at the age of 60. Some jokes (Steenburgen: Are you still good in bed? Kline: I can't remember) are dead on arrival; but it's hard not to crack a smile. On the other hand, Jerry Ferrara (Turtle on Entourage) may very well be the most inconsequential actor in Hollywood. Who casts a 5'4" tall bully? I'd laugh, if only it were funny.

Best Line: Morgan Freeman is a joy to behold, especially when he remarks, 'I feel like I'm getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time,' after downing his first Red Bull & vodka. The four pals ooze chemistry, allowing zingers like Archie's 'We're here to celebrate Billy's marrying an infant,' to ring out like the friendly banter it's intended as.

Overall: Last Vegas may be 'the first bachelor party that could be covered by Medicare,' but I could find little wrong with a feel-good story, packed with superstars. Expect to get hit over the head with frequent reminders of how old everyone is (i.e. '58 years later…' and 'We're gonna party like it's 1959') but a little hokey never hurt anybody. It's hard to argue with a movie that makes you smile a lot.