The appeal right off the bat with LAST VEGAS is seeing four talented and classic actors in the one film together. We have Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline together for the first time, that gimmick alone gets attention. But can a gimmick make a good film? Should it make a good film?
With LAST VEGAS it will really depend on each individual and how you take this film, personally I found this really enjoyable and good fun. It wasn’t offensive and it was a great gimmick with these four who share chemistry and are quite believable as life long friends. Honestly I got more out of this film than the last two HANGOVER sequels, and a big difference is this film has characters that are not completely horrible to each other and other people. It doesn’t go for a shock factor, instead it aims for fun for a wide audiences ranging for teens to seniors.
The premise here is not a complicated one, Billy (Michael Douglas) is marrying his much younger lady and decides to have a bachelor party in Vegas before the wedding with his three best friends from childhood Archie (Morgan Freeman), Sam (Kevin Kline) and hesitant Paddy (Robert DeNiro). Archie and Sam are keen to have a weekend away, with Archie wanting to diss his over protective son and Sam feeling underwhelmed with life wants to have some fun and even gets his wife’s permission to do whatever he wants. Paddy though is living alone, after his wife has passes away and doesn’t quite get along with Billy now. He does get coaxed into going and the foursome make it to Vegas, where they will have bridges to repair and to find themselves again.
Las Vegas has the wild reputation and here things do get wild but in a less vulgar manner than what one may expect. But that however does not stop this from being fun and seriously I would like to party with these guys. The cast here work well together and they are having fun and enjoying themselves and really got into the roles. The antics can be silly at times, the gimmick is about these older men getting into all sorts of trouble. There is a touch of romance thrown into the mix as Billy and Paddy both fancy a Vegas singer they meet there Diana (Mary Steenburgen). This is a nice touch as it provides more insight into the troubled relationship between Billy and Paddy and adds in a nice bit of female flavour.
There isn’t much to dislike here, it does however suffer in parts just due to the typical nature of things and you can easily guess where it is headed. Having some surprises in there would have lifted this up, but even being a typical ride it was still enjoyable thanks to the cast and some great situations. It is hard to tell how this film could have turned out if it did take some more chances and didn’t play it safe so to speak, but it is what it is and it is worth giving a shot. There is a lot to like and enjoy, something to spend the afternoon with.