When Billy (Michael Douglas – Wall Street) announces his engagement to 30-something Lisa, he decides to reunite with his old friends for one last hurrah in Las Vegas. Old rivalries resurface between the groom and Paddy (Robert De Niro – Goodfellas), whilst Archie (Morgan Freeman – The Dark Knight) looks to rediscover some fun in his twilight years. Sam (Kevin Kline – A Fish Called Wanda) in the meantime is looking to take full advantage of a guilt-free sex pass from his wife.
Last Vegas is the kind of comedy you’d be forgiven for thinking was all gimmick and no punch. Thankfully it’s actually a heartfelt and very funny take on the tried-and-tested ‘Hangover’ formula with an amazing cast of legends all bringing their A game to the casino table.
Robert De Niro has certainly made his fair share of duds recently but Last Vegas shows that his comedic timing is far from spent. He works brilliantly against a good-time Michael Douglas who is enjoying a career resurgence of late. The Behind The Candelabra star is excellent here and gives the film a great central lead to get behind. De Niro and Douglas’ banter is a joy to watch.
We get to see Kevin Kline make a rare big screen outing in Last Vegas and he’s frequently the funniest thing in the movie. Morgan Freeman clearly has fun with his role too and the two give great support to De Niro and Douglas. Throw in the ageless Mary Steenburgen as a potential love interest for one of the gang and you have a classic ensemble all playing their part to make this a success.
The film could be The Hangover in 30 years time with the premise treading on familiar territory. But with these stars it takes on a new dimension. Having them go to nightclubs, judging wet t-shirt contests and drink too much may seem like obvious gags but its all handled with characters you actually care about. This makes the predictable but nevertheless enjoyable story all the more entertaining.
Last Vegas is a great comedy with a lot going for it. It might not be groundbreaking but it does the basics just right to deliver one of the funniest mainstream comedies we’ve seen for some time. With this cast, Last Vegas was always going to entertain but it surprises too with a decent amount of heart behind all the outrageous laughs too.