Last Vegas has been dubbed a ‘Hangover’ film for the older generation set when Bradley Cooper and the rest of the Wolfpack are widowed, suffering from ill health and are stuck in a spice less marriage. Sounds dreary, right? WRONG.
Last Vegas follows a group of four long time childhood friends who head for Sin City when wealthy womaniser Billy (Michael Douglas) announces his engagement to his thirty- something girlfriend. Robert De Nero stars as widower Paddy, who is unwillingly forced to attend the trip to Vegas by good friends, Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline). What follows is a wild weekend of pensioner partying, a one night stand search but most importantly, rekindling a broken friendship.
Each of the characters follows their own desires which all ultimately try to capture their youth and ignore the problems of growing old. It is not only the gang that have changed with age but so too, has the bustling city of Las Vegas which provides comical encounters especially with Sam and a lady boy. The driving emotion behind the film is the estranged relationship between Billy and Paddy in a familiar ‘who gets the girl storyline’ but this comes with a twist in that the girl is gone and Last Vegas deals with the consequences of that which is interesting to watch.
Despite having the heavyweight power of De Nero and Douglas the stand out role come from Kevin Kline’s Sam. Kline carefully underplays all scenarios and this creates many laugh out loud moments which is necessary in a film that could have become a drag without Kline’s subtle humour. Morgan Freeman also presents plenty of laughs and is the most convincing pensioner maybe due to the horrible dress sense and fanny pack. Long-time comedy actress Mary Steenburgen plays lounge singer, Diana who gives a female perspective to the complicated relationship of Paddy and Billy. Steenburgen is an excellent singer contrary to what some may believe due to her croaking in Elf and shares a great on screen chemistry with all the men.
Last Vegas really didn’t set the critics alight but if you are looking for a fun Friday night flick with plenty of laughs it’s the film for the job. The plot is predictable but go and see it primarily for the superb cast who are really at ease and that makes it enjoyable and easy viewing. Last Vegas was brave in making a Vegas based comedy about a group of guys following the success of ‘The Hangover Trilogy’ but this film has a sentimental and sweet factor that ‘The Hangover’ was lacking. Despite having an older cast there are a couple of celebrity cameos to look for that the older generation might not recognise in the form of rap stars and thrusting party rockers. This film is no SAGA holiday but it is a great night out to escape those January blues and maybe your own ageing worries!