I hope Bradley Cooper is settling into a cushy movie theater with a big old box of popcorn and a bucket of Pepsi to see this movie, because Michael Douglas would be his own, personal Ghost of Christmas Future. This is your future Mr. Cooper. Enjoy the next 30 years. This is what awaits you.
Douglas stars as Billy – the outgoing, overly charming Los Angeles business magnate who grew up in Brooklyn with 3 close, lifelong buddies (and, because this is a movie, they grew up in an idyllic Flatbush complete with doo wop music, because everyone in movies grew up in an idyllic 1950’s Brooklyn with doo wop music with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background of every photograph). Now, Billy is getting married to a woman half his age (Douglas has been practicing for this role for a long time), and the guys are all getting together in Vegas for a blow out, early bird special bachelor party and whirlwind wedding.
Archie (Morgan Freeman) is excited to escape his doting, overly protective son to live again after suffering a stroke a year earlier.
Paddy (Robert De Niro) needs to get out of the house where he has been living in depression since the loss of the love of his life.
And, Sam (Kevin Kline) is along for the ride. (Sure, he has a storyline, but you get the feeling Kevin Kline was invited to appear in this movie because Harrison Ford was already booked or Al Pacino didn’t like the script).
What will happen when these four wild and crazy guys get together in Vegas?
Last Vegas is not the greatest comedy to ever grace the screen. And, you can come up with so many ways to mock the premise (The Hangover for Senior Citizens, SuperOLD, Bad Grandpas), but Last Vegas is completely giggle worthy, with some guffaws tossed in.
You laugh because these four guys are good actors. Freeman is hilarious as the goofy, lively, giddy guy who is embracing life and some craziness. You can’t help but want to get up and dance with the guy as the music plays and he gets down to boogie. We already adore Freeman, so it is a chance for him to create the best, most lovable character in the movie by embracing the ridiculousness of it all with aplomb.
Kline makes the most of the most ridiculous storyline you could ever imagine (to save the marriage, his wife has given him permission to fool around in Vegas), and has to shoulder the burden of the worst, most obvious, most mockable jokes in the film (the other three must have been able to pull rank on him and pass along the dumbest stuff to the guy along for the ride because Ford was unavailable and Pacino didn’t like the script).
Yep, we get plenty of jokes about getting old, sagging, going to bed early, pharmaceuticals the old dudes need to take, hair transplants and more, but Last Vegas is fun because the four of these dudes have amazing camaraderie.
Sadly, the movie falls off the rails when a ton of melodrama gets tossed in by writer Dan Fogelman. De Niro and Douglas have to carry this plot, which revolves around a past slight and lifelong rivalry, but it dampens the comedy and ruins the mood.
Last Vegas is rated PG-13 for sexual content and language