Posted December 30, 2013 by editor in Film Reviews

Last Vegas Review


Finally!  A comedy that is actually funny for a change.

So Michael Douglas’ character Billy is getting hitched to a much younger woman (Ba-boom-tish) and he calls upon his aged old buddies to join him for a stag do in Vegas. Eager to please, and also to get his end away ,is Kevin Kline’s Captain Birdseye looking chummie, Morgan Freeman’s overprotected grandfather and Robert De Niro’s sulking widower, Paddy.  To which it seems that there is some unresolved issues relating to said deceased between Paddy and Billy.

Douglas is full on onscreen charm and charisma and acts as a gateway to the others having their fun in the sun. But it is Freeman and Kline who are the revelations – true they get up to the most antics out of all of them, but it is the flare that they do it with that steals some of the best gags and lines. Kline barrels through his dialogue with the zest of any newcomer on the scene (perhaps clutching at straws from time to time, but luckily it mainly falls in his favour). Freeman on the other hand decides that it is time to not play Morgan Freeman for a change and delivers one of his more standout performances for a while – and proves that he is quite capable of being a comic lead. All of this is of course backed up by a script that is actually full of decent dialogue and jokes.

Yes there are the sappy elements in there as well as each member of the gang has to come to the realisation about something in their life they need to take ownership for.

The weak link is perhaps director Jon Turtleltaub (Cool Runnings, National Treasure) who is not above cheese-meltingly warm contrivances in his work. But at least here he manages to get through the drama without ever making you want to be sick, but it is something you are conscious of being primed early on in the film.

It’s a dream cast with a workman director, but Last Vegas manages to beat the odds and comes out on top, even if it still hits all the familiar beats along the way. The journey getting there is fun.

3 Stars




Steven Hurst