I love Vegas. I love being able to drink everywhere I go rather I’m inside or outside, I love all the people watching that can be done and I love all the craY shenanigans that can be had while there. What I don’t love is getting old and few things make me feel better about getting old. LAST VEGAS combined something I love with a theme that scares the hell out of me and has a hell of a lot of fun along the way- the cherry on top is that the film also has four of the coolest old dudes working today having a blast on screen.
I hate every single THE HANGOVER reference I’ve seen made in regards to this film simply because they both take place in Vegas and feature a group of friends and their experiences in Vegas during a bachelor party. THE HANGOVER is on one end of the spectrum, a raunchy comedy full of ridiculous events that would never happen. On the other side is LAST VEGAS a more down to Earth story that happens to also have some off the wall ideas, but some actual heartfelt moments dealing with real life moments of people facing their own mortality and quite literally coming of age.
Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert DeNiro are all friends on their way to Vegas to throw a bachelor party weekend for Michael Douglas. Douglas’ character is having a bit of a crisis due to his age and his friends question rather or not he really loves the girl he’s about marry as she is literally half his age. On their trip they meet a charming singer played by Mary Steenburgen which lends to a growing rift between Douglas and DeNiro’s characters. The foursome all have moments where they come face to face with where they are in their lives and have to either make a stand or come to terms with each unique situation.
At no point during the course of LAST VEGAS does the group even reach the mild ridiculous antics of THE HANGOVER. Maybe the most ridiculous thing that happens is that they put on an act that they are all members of the mafia in order to scare another character. Sure, it may not be as energetic and crazy, but what it lacks in balls-to-the-wall insanity it makes up for in genuine back and forth jokery with the characters who all have fantastic chemistry together on screen.
LAST VEGAS isn’t going to turn any heads in almost any technical category or by being profoundly moving or uproarious with its comedy, but the film is still very entertaining and charming in its own right. DeNiro, Douglas, Freeman and Kline are endlessly watchable, especially while trading friendly insults with one another. LAST VEGAS is a fun way to get a bunch of legendary actors on the same stage and let them basically just be themselves and I for one can’t find much to complain about in that regard. It’s probably not the best movie you’re going to see this year, but it’s a long long way off from being the worst.