Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Last Vegas’ Review: Huge Talent Barely Lifts Lazy Screenplay

Last Vegas is an excuse for some Hollywood A-listers to get together, hang out, beat up guys half their age and score a major paycheck. Last Vegas could’ve been the older generation’s version of The Hangover, but instead it succumbs to a cheesy screenplay and mediocre laughs.

Spray-tanned sixty-something Billy (Michael Douglas) spontaneously proposes to his 31-year-old girlfriend (in the middle of a friend’s funeral no less) and calls best friend Sam (Kevin Kline), who is bored of retired life in Florida. Sam then calls stroke-survivor Archie (Morgan Freeman, who seems to be re-playing his role from The Bucket List) and desperate to take a break from their day-to-day lives the two BFFs suggest Las Vegas for a final bachelor party. The only problem the trio has is trying to convince down-in-the-dumps widower Paddy (Robert De Niro) to come along for the ride. Paddy is still angry with Billy for not attending his wife’s funeral and the two haven’t touched base since.

Once we’re in Vegas, the film seems like its nothing but a big advertisement for luxury hotel casino Aria. When Archie surprisingly wins big bucks at the blackjack table, the group is offered a penthouse suite with a personal concierge (Romany Malco). While getting some drinks at a casino bar, the guys meet jazz-singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen) and for the first time since his wife passed away Paddy has eyes for someone else.

last vegas movie

All the actors deliver mediocre performances that come off as versions of themselves, with the exception of Kevin Kline who actually looks like he wants to be there. It’s just a shame this talent was thrown together for this lazy comedy.

Dan Fogelman’s (2012’s The Guilt Trip) predictable screenplay contains a few feel-good and funny moments, but mainly consists of cheesy dialogue and forced chemistry. The music that plays throughout the film makes it feel more like a TV movie especially in the scene where Billy is walking the Vegas strip, spouting nostalgic stories to Diana.

You’ll have more fun watching these four actors interact at the Last Vegas press junket than you will in the actual movie. Personally, I’d rather re-watch Robert De Niro read the lyrics of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” before watching Last Vegas again.

The actors can barely keep the lazy screenplay afloat and Last Vegas turns out to be a poor man’s Hangover offering only a few memorable scenes and the typical Vegas-style jokes.

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