Movie Review: “Last Vegas” Shines With Its Stellar Cast


Review by James McDonald

Three sixty-something friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

Don’t you just hate it when you go to the theater and see the coming attractions for an upcoming movie and they put all the best parts in the trailer? And then you go to see the movie, only to realize that all the best parts were in the trailer? Well, I’m delighted to report that while the trailer for “Last Vegas” was indeed, entertaining, the funniest parts of the movie were not in there. The movie centers around three sixty-something friends who take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. With so many movies in the past which boasted an all-star cast and which then proceeded to fall apart upon viewing, that is exactly what my fears were going in to see this movie. You have four of the screen’s most enigmatic actors, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline who have all won Oscars for their performances over the years so how could the movie fail? Well thankfully, very thankfully, it doesn’t.

Actually, I feel like the movie would not have worked with any other actor in any of their respective roles. Each actor has their moment to shine but more importantly, they sparkle when they’re an ensemble. When Billy, the group’s incurable bachelor, finally proposes to his thirty-something girlfriend, the four head to Las Vegas with the intention of not acting their age and reliving their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four immediately acknowledge that the decades have transformed Sin City and questions their friendship in ways they could never imagine. The one theme that is prevalent throughout the movie, is the fear of getting old. Michael Douglas, as Billy, the aforementioned bachelor, finally admits to his friends that the reason he has been a bachelor his whole life is because of his fear of being alone. In one scene, he talks about not being able to emotionally accept, that he has the body of a seventy year old.

Robert De Niro’s Paddy is still pining for his deceased wife of over a year and feels empty without her and has an enduring resentment towards Billy because he never turned up to her funeral. Morgan Freeman’s Archie can’t even turn around in his own house without his over-protective son always looking over his shoulder and Kevin Kline’s Sam, although he and his wife of forty years are very much in love, she knows that he is unhappy with their ‘retired’ sex life and gives him a free pass and tells him “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, as long as he never tells her what happened. The four head off to Vegas with the intention of having fun and letting their hair down and Freeman and Kline in particular, get some of the biggest laughs, with both actors clearly relishing the chance to play very loose and broad. Douglas coasts through the movie on his good looks while De Niro has his trademark scowl.

Director Jon Turteltaub keeps the story moving along at a steady pace and that momentum is, in no small part, due to the four leads of the movie. And there’s also no shortage of humor either. One scene in particular involves Morgan Freeman who, having never tasted Red Bull before, downs one too many, then states that “it’s like getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time” which leads to an innately hilarious scene. Above all, the story is about true friendship, loyalty and love. It shows that as we get older, we need each other more than ever before. And with friends like these guys, who needs enemies? Highly Recommended.

In theaters November 1st


James McDonald
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