It's complicated... I really like the directing, acting and writing but, there are issues with the way it's shot that I just can't deny. As much as I love the storytelling and the fantastic performance but, there are also certain scenes that didn't need to exist.
Not sure how, but this is easily one of the best movies all summer. Multiple levels of funny, never takes itself seriously, super colorful, and creative.
An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.
In "Amusing Ourselves to Death", American writer Neil Postman wrote very briefly about how different American cities have, over time, come to represent the definitive American 'spirit' of a given era. In the wake of America's birth, it was Boston. Halfway through the nineteenth century, New York was the famous 'melting pot' while Chicago, in the early twentieth, was the city of the industrial energy and dynamism of the time. Various monuments have, by his reckoning, additionally acted as "odes" to these times - the Minuteman statue in Boston, for instance, and the Statue of Liberty as a beacon of New York's hospitality. At the time of his writing the book in 1985, Postman lamented that the Marlboro Man was, in his opinion, the 'monument' which best encapsulated America's "character" - the city of Las Vegas the locale which now best captures the American "spirit". Postman's book was ultimately about how television was 'dumbing down' or 'trivialising' America, and the effects such an invention had on everything from how Americans conduct their political discourse to how they feel about religion and themselves. "Last Vegas" proves that, thirty years on, the spirit is still alive and well. The film is about four men old enough to know better taking a trip to the Nevada hotspot in order to celebrate the fact one of them is getting married. They drink a lot of alcohol; one of them looks to have sex with another woman and they end up judging a bikini contest. The film, like the characters, seems to agree this is all a bit of a blast...The men in question are Billy; Paddy; Archie and Sam, played respectively by acting heavyweights Michael Douglas; Robert De Niro; Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. Each has been very funny in the past, in a variety of films ranging from "Bruce Almighty" to "Meet the Parents" by way of "A Fish Called Wanda". Not so here. The gang have known one another since they were boys in a rough 1950's New York neighbourhood - scenes set at this time, with boy actors who bear close resemblances to their legendary grown up counterparts, leave you wanting much more of them, particularly by the hour mark. Billy (Douglas) is the one getting married - to a woman aged 32, which is around half his own age. "Wow!" exclaims one of his pals, before Billy does the arithmetic: "By the time she's my age, I'll be..." his friend beats him to the punch: "You'll be Dead, Billy..." I've just done some arithmetic of my own - Douglas was 25 when he married Catherine Zeta-Jones. Was there supposed to be some kind of in-joke there? If there was, did people think that would be funny? Through extraordinarily contrived circumstances, each of them manage to either slink or drag themselves away from their existing predicaments to the citadel of their national time. None of the men are in particularly good shape, with each of them nursing various physical and psychological ailments. One telephone call that begins with the statement "I've got news!", for instance, wryly induces the pessimistic response from down the other end: "Heart, cancer or prostate?" In Florida, Kevin Kline is just trying to get used to a new metal joint replacement; in Brooklyn, De Niro mopes around a pokey flat, clinically depressed over his wife's recent passing, and elsewhere, Freeman is getting sick of his son interacting with him as if he was useless now that he's old. With very little in the way of set up for any of these people, we feel very little for anyone or anything other than the De Niro character and his coping with loss when everybody arrives in Vegas. We later learn why he bears some antagonism towards the Michael Douglas character, and get to witness a narrative similar to it unfold all over again here when a lounge singer played by Mary Steenburgen is roped into a love triangle. Meanwhile, the Kline and Freeman characters become increasingly superfluous when they are not merely unpleasant - Kline's arc to do with possessing a contraception he becomes increasingly desperate to use on one of the numerous younger women around in town is especially disagreeable. When the film tries to pull the handbrake on this at the very end, in the process attempting to put across some message to do with being faithful to a lifelong marriage, we are not fooled. Jon Turteltaub seems to be perpetually in two minds as to which film he wants to make - the one about two old friends bearing a grudge and being forced to bury a hatchet is more interesting than the other one, but the film's tone shoots all over the place like a high pressure hose: one minute it is a solemn relationships drama, the next it is a raucous booze fuelled laughathon. Watching it is a little like seeing two pairs of characters from two different films who have wondered into the same picture - I can see absolutely no purpose to Kline's presence here other than to act as a beacon of sexualised humour.As before, the four headlining the film have been relatively funny in other films which have been much funnier than this, but the difference lay in the writing; the consistency in the tone and them actually having something to deliver. In the midst of everything, a really rather odd running gag is tossed in whereby De Niro gets to pretend to be a feared East Coast mobster, thus calling to mind somewhat his work in Martin Scorsese's 1995 film "Casino", which largely unfolded in Vegas. I see no real reason to recommend you see "Last Vegas" for this, or any other reason, other than to witness how the American "spirit" is still going.
Four friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. Last Vegas brings Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline and Michael Douglas for an epic trip in Las Vegas that is packed with lots of terrific humor and a plot that is a bit similar to Hangover but better. The entire cast does a great job especially Freeman who has an insane and hilarious comedic scene involving him and a window. As for De Niro? If you loved him in the 2013 driven Comedy, Boxing, Spoof starring alongside Stallone you are gonna love him in this film as well cause he was brilliant and the same goes for Douglas and Kline. (10/10)
I've heard this movie described as "the Hangover with senior citizens" and its four stars as "the Mount Rushmore of Acting". Both descriptions are apt. "Last Vegas" (PG-13, 1:45) brings together four men (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) whose average age was 71 at the time of the film's release, and who have a combined 300+ movie and TV credits to their names over careers that total about 200 years and who, as a group, have racked up over 25 Golden Globe noms (with several wins) and about 15 Oscar noms (with several more wins). These actors have starred in such iconic films as "The Godfather, Part II", Sophie's Choice", "Taxi Driver", "Driving Miss Daisy", "Wall Street", "A Fish Called Wanda", "Fatal Attraction" and "Independence Day" as well as under-appreciated gems like "The Game", "A Bronx Tale", "Seven" and "Grand Canyon". Attention should be paid.In "Last Vegas", four childhood friends get together in Sin City to throw a bachelor party for the ladies' man of the group, the last of them to finally get around to getting married. The set-up is similar 2013's "The World's End", complete with one attendee who, due to an old grudge, had to be tricked into joining the reunion. As the four men air their grievances, remember the past and worry about the future, they're working their way through a weekend in Vegas in which they make new friends (of varying ages) and figure out how to party "like it's 1959", although the calendar is working against them.This movie, with these four acting legends, and ably supported by Mary Steenburgen, Michael Ealy, Romany Malco and Roger Bart, is a good bit of fun. Jokes about aging abound, but just as those gags are about to go stale, the film shifts gears to focus more on the drama that has developed among these four men, yet still manages to work in a few more laughs here and there. It's a pleasure to see these four cinematic legends share the screen and it's obvious that they're having a great time playing these characters. There are a couple interesting plot twists along the way, which culminate in a resolution that is predictable, but heartfelt. "Last Vegas" is funny, but could have been funnier, interesting, but could have been more interesting and well-acted, although not quite award-worthy, earning, from me, a "B".
Last Vegas (2013): Dir: Jon Turteltaub / Cast: Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen: An elderly version of The Hangover only it totally lacks the laughs and clever writing of that great comedy. Title regards the conclusion of youth and innocence. Michael Douglas stars as the centre piece of four friends that go back to childhood. He is getting married to a woman thirty years his junior and he contacts his friends for a weekend bachelor party in Vegas. Robert De Niro plays an estrange friend who resents Douglas because he failed to attend his wife's funeral. This resentment runs deeper before the conclusion reveals deeper pain. Morgan Freeman is on pills is monitored by his son so he must sneak out undetected. Kevin Kline plays the fourth wheel whose wife gives him an envelop that contains a Viagra pill and a condom. While he does have an uncomfortable encounter with men in drag, it is obvious that he will not cheat on his wife even when the opportunity presents itself. The female roles are unfortunately underwritten and placed as props for romantic clichés. The cast is wonderful but the screenplay is as bland as the lights going out in Vegas. The Hangover is brilliant but here it doesn't quite hit the laugh factor. Director Jon Turteltaub has done better films such as While You Were Sleeping and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. He doesn't totally miss here thanks to a great cast and a theme of age and friendship. Big fans of the actors will be curious but Vegas is always better with the Wolf Pack in the dawn of the boozing. Score: 5 ½ / 10