I guess it was only a matter of time before Hollywood would try and re-create The Hangover once again except for the 60 year-olds and beyond. And while Last Vegas offers absolutely nothing new (we have seen it all before), it does have one hell of a cast. Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) roped in five Oscar winners and simply keeps the camera on them while they cut loose. There is no denying Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline sharing scenes with one another is a sight to see, but why did it have to be in such an artificial, easily forseeable movie?
The plot gets going with Billy (Douglas), a Malibu lawyer with a fake tan, getting engaged to a woman half his age at a funeral. He wants his childhood buddies to join him for a wild weekend for his Bachelor party in Sin City. Known as the "Flatbush Four" when they were kids growing up in Brooklyn, the guys are struggling these days. Sam (Kline) lives in Florida with his wife in a retirement community and it is not a pretty sight. Archie (Freeman) lives with his son in New Jersey and is not allowed to do much but rest since his stroke. Then there is Paddy (De Niro) who hardy gets out of his bathrobe since his wife passed away a year ago.
Billy and Paddy have had a falling out and part of the problem is no matter how old they are, both seem to always fall in love with the same woman. Paddy is reluctant at first about living it up in Vegas, but Sam and Archie get him out and on a plane to meet Billy in an attempt to relive their glory days as the "Flatbush Four." What follows is a bunch of craziness and jokes we have never heard before.
I am just messing with you.
What really occurs are dumb situations to make them feel young again and lame jokes that are older than the guys telling them. However, Last Vegas is not a complete waste of time. It appears Douglas and De Niro signed up to practically play themselves, yet Kline and Freeman are up for anything. If you do find yourself laughing, it is because of those two. And Mary Steenburgen adds a woman's touch by playing an old-fashioned lounge singer who puts the geezers in their place while capturing a couple of their hearts in the process.
The movie may never reach its full potential when it comes to being funny or sentimental, but there are moments toward the end that quietly show us how deep it could have been. Themes such as accepting who you are and the age you are at, regretting what is in the past, and appreciating friendships you have developed in your life do finally hit home. I guess it is better late than never.
You never know what makes a person do a film. For Last Vegas, it could have been where four screen legends wanted an excuse to work together or perhaps it was just about a paycheck. But to have that much talent on-screen, it is disappointing to see all of it evaporate by doing this kind of goofy material. They are better than this. Sure the movie was fun to make and there is no question the actors in it make it something more than it should be. But where's the excitement? The risk? Douglas, De Niro, Freeman, and Kline have all had it before and I hope they can regain it. For right now though, they all left Last Vegas empty-handed.