Four sixty something friends reunite for a stag weekend in Vegas, to celebrate the wedding of their last remaining single friend.
Remember The Hangover, and how it reinvented the bromantic comedy? Well Last Vegas tries to blend The Hangover with any one of the many recent films that celebrate older people – for example, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – and manages to disrespect both.
The cast is made up of Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert DeNiro, each playing a caricature of a stereotype. Douglas, as Billy, is the last of the four friends to get married, but of course he is marrying a woman way younger than he is, as he goes through another life crisis. Freeman as Archie is a man who has suffered some ill health and is desperate to get away from his controlling son, Kline as Sam is the most likeable of the bunch, even if he is desperate to sleep with anyone who is not his wife. Finally, DeNiro is a cantankerous old bastard who refuses to accept life without his wife, until he gets to Vegas, that is. The love interest for all four men comes in the form of Mary Steenburgen who has the most fleshed out role of the lot, as lounge singer Diana, but has very little chemistry with any of the men she shares the screen with.
Writer Dan Fogelman has a career that is as odd as his most recent film; not only did he pen the spectacularly disappointing Cars and Cars 2 for Pixar, but he also created the surprisingly great Tangled for Disney, as well as Crazy, Stupid, Love and Fred Claus. Sadly, it seems that Fogelman has slipped back into his clichéd and disappointing ways with Last Vegas, as none of the characters is particularly well formed, and the narrative arc is spectacularly predictable. Oh, and no matter how hard the cast tries, Last Vegas is simply not funny,
Director Jon Turteltaub did well in the 90s with Cool Runnings and While You Were Sleeping, but since then, has gone from disappointment to disappointment with the National Treasure movies, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. In Last Vegas, the director tries to make these men interesting, but only manages to make them self centred, and any attempt at delineation is lost in a sea of bad jokes and borderline offensive quips.
Last Vegas is an insult to the Vegas party movie, and the movies that celebrate the lives of the older generation. Kline comes off best in a sea of mediocrity, but even that is not enough to save the film from being a ridiculous, over the top, badly made mess that should be avoided as much as a Vegas hangover.