Saturday, 14 December 2013

Last Vegas Review: VIP OAPs

De Niro, Douglas, Freeman and Kline. It's a killer cast but where once De Niro's name might have been a mark of quality, now it is often cause to lower your expectations and brace for the worst. And so it was that I entered a screening of Last Vegas, a comedy about four OAP's, friends since they were kids, who take to Las Vegas for a bachelor party when one of their number decides to get hitched to a girl half his age.

The four boys we meet in Brooklyn in a photo booth fighting over a girl are suddenly transformed 58 years later to the stars we know and love. When Douglas' Billy proposes to his young girlfriend at a funeral, he calls up his old buddies for (possibly) one last hurrah of a stag weekend as he prepares for his Vegas wedding. Freeman's Archie is on a range of medication and forced to stay indoors by his caring son, Kline's Sam is given a hall pass, Viagra and condom by his despairing but loving wife and De Niro's grouchy old git Paddy is still bitter about Billy not showing up to the funeral of his wife (and the object of both their affections since they were boys).

Once they get to Vegas, the bare bones characters have been set up and director Jon Turteltaub's camera is free to leer at the young women dressed provocatively everywhere around the strip. As old rivalries boil to the surface, seething resentment simmers and a new lady emerges to steal the hearts of both Douglas and De Niro's characters, Last Vegas looks set to be tacky, predictable but fuelled by dazzling star power.

Actually while Last Vegas is predictable, it is still full of heart and both the stars and their characters will win you over by the end. Some of the comedy is so obvious that it should be plastered on neon signs but seeing Freeman drunk on Vodka Red Bulls is priceless and De Niro and Douglas bring some serious emotions to bear on what could have been an overly mawkish and sentimental script. Freeman and Kline steal most of the laughs while Douglas and De Niro bring the heart and soul. The female characters have nothing to do except be bland love interests but the old boys milk their age for every gag and dash of gravitas they can.

Last Vegas may not be brilliant or worthy of such a stellar cast but it's still way better than The Hangover.

What did you think of Last Vegas?

More reviews from I Love That Film:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Don Jon

Machete Kills, The Conspiracy, Snitch and more

Ender's Game

Sunshine on Leith

How I Live Now


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