Review: Last Vegas

Written by: Dee Pilgrim

You’d think a film about four ageing codgers living it up in Las Vegas with jokes about hip replacements, Viagra and the indignities of old age would be of limited appeal to anyone under the age of 30.

But at its first screening in London, this film had old and young chortling along throughout.

Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas,  Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline in Last Vegas

Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline in Last Vegas

Of course it helps when the four main characters are played by such veterans of the big screen as Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro. They make up the stag party of old mates who descend on Vegas for the marriage of successful businessman Billy (Douglas) to a woman half his age. While Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) are up for having some fun, widower Paddy (De Niro) really doesn’t want to be there as he hasn’t forgiven Billy for missing his wife’s funeral.

But you know what they say about Vegas and partying and after Archie hits it big in the casino the four find themselves in a penthouse suite with cash to burn – even if their heart conditions and high blood pressure and cholesterol stop them from indulging in everything on offer… well, almost everything.

This is basically a buddy bonding movie, although Mary Steenburgen as a torch singer does add a feminine touch to proceedings, but mostly its about grown men who should know better behaving very badly. Think of it as The Hangover for golden agers – less frenetic or vicious but with lots of gentle jokes along the way.

All four actors look like they are enjoying themselves immensely, especially as Archie and Sam rib Billy something rotten about his hair transplant (‘So, what colour would you call that? Hazelnut?’) and at least they are playing their age for a change instead of pretending to be a good two decades younger.

Who says you can’t have fun in your late 60s? Certainly not this bunch, and if you’re after some gentle laughs this film is fun, too.

Author: Dee Pilgrim

Dee always knew she wanted to make her living from writing and so trained as a journalist before working for a variety of music and women’s titles including Sounds, Company, Cosmopolitan, Ms London, New Woman, and Girl About Town. After going freelance she concentrated on celebrity interviews and film, theatre, music and restaurant reviews. Her love of film goes back to her very first cinema experience at the age of five when her mother took her to see Bambi. She cried. At one time she was the Film Editor for NOW magazine and also the secretary for the film section of the Critics’ Circle and the celebrity coordinator for its annual film awards’ event. She has written a number of books for teenagers through Trotman Publishing, including five Real Life Guides to vocational careers (including Carpentry, Plumbing and Catering), and also three books on Real Life Issues (Money, Bereavement and Self Harm). Her favourite film is still Bladerunner.

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