There’s nothing new in Last Vegas, a Hangover seemingly for more mellow filmgoers.
Calling the movie that, however, would do it a great disservice. With a cast that includes Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Robert DeNiro (that would be four, count ‘em four, Oscar winners folks), the movie, which opens on area screens Friday (Nov. 1) features that prestigious, but reliable cast in a movie with consistent laughs.
In today’s slapdash world of filmmaking there’s something to be said for films with stars who know how to deliver the goods even with material that may not always be up to their standards. They tend to lift the film and their fellow performers creating an experience that’s enjoyable.
Let’s face it. At this time of year what else is anyone looking for out of a movie? The serious Oscar stuff really won’t hit for another few weeks and the Christmas shopping herds will eventually take over in the area’s malls. Now’s the time to see them for nothing but enjoyment.
And at its heart, Last Vegas wraps the audience in its warm message and provides plenty of laughs allowing for a couple of hours of pleasing escape.
Billy (Douglas), Paddy (DeNiro), Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) enjoy a friendship that dates back 50 years to their days as kids in Flatbush, N.Y. They assemble in Las Vegas for Billy’s bachelor party. The sly old fox is planning to marry a woman less than half his age. He can’t see the folly of it, but his friends can.
But they’re friends, they don’t speak up. Instead they revel in the moments they’re given to bask in one another’s company and even show some youngsters how to live life to the fullest with integrity, dignity and respect for others.
On the surface that might sound a wee bit boring, but it’s not. It’s a toss back to realizing that’s how people used to treat one another more often than not.
Though all of their fun and partying they remember and learn a few things about themselves and in the process they entertain.
How could they not? For anyone who appreciates a fun movie with a bit of an edge, but not one that feels an obligation to push boundaries of good taste, director Jon Turteltaub (The National Treasure movies) assembles the perfect cast.
Their only job is to make us believe that these relationships go back five decades and they do so spectacularly. They make each character unique, giving each their own charms. The best thing Turteltaub can do is point the camera and get out of their way. He wisely does so and the result is a consistently funny, often charming comedy.
Movie: Last Vegas
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Joanna Gleason
Studio: CBS Films
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language.
Running time: 105 minutes
George’s rating: 3.5-of-5 stars
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com