‘Last Vegas’: Fun foursome on familiar road trip
A 2.5-star review of the middle-aged friendship movie, “Last Vegas,” starring Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline.
Seattle Times movie critic
‘Last Vegas,’ with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco, Roger Bart. Directed by Jon Turteltaub, from a screenplay by Dan Fogelman. 104 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. Several theaters.
If Hollywood needs to take us once again down the bunch-of-guys-in-Las-Vegas route, we may as well go in the genial company of Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline. These four august gentleman (none of whom, surprisingly, have shared a screen before) pleasantly anchor “Last Vegas,” in which a quartet of Flatbush grade-school pals reunite, 58 years later, in Sin City for some bonding, some reminiscing, some romance (with Mary Steenburgen as a charming Vegas chanteuse), and a whole lot of reminding us that they know exactly how to carry a movie.
Douglas, as silky California attorney Billy, is the film’s center; he calls the gang together to celebrate his upcoming marriage (to, natch, a much younger woman). He’s joined by Sam (Kline), enduring a dull retirement in Florida; Archie (Freeman), recovering from a stroke at the home of his overprotective son; and Paddy (De Niro), a still-mourning recent widower. Except for Paddy, they’re ready to have some fun, and they do; particularly Archie, played by Freeman with an irresistible glee. (He can do, if we needed reminding, a very funny drunk. And he dances too.)
Directed by Jon Turteltaub, “Last Vegas” is no masterpiece: It depends too often on overweight old women for sight gags, it goes exactly where you think it will go and no further, and you wish these four guys were teaming up for something more substantial. But I’m not capable of disliking a film in which Freeman wears a red suit and sings “You Are My Sunshine” to a really cute baby (not at the same time, which might have caused the screen to combust with likability), or one in which the characters call the excessively tanned Douglas “Hazelnut,” or one in which Kline’s character says, about his wife, “After 40 years of marriage, if I can’t tell her about something wonderful that happens to me, it stops being wonderful.” Maybe you aren’t either.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org