“Last Vegas” fails to make an impact on viewers

Allison Mann, The Prowl

Ever seen “The Hangover?” Picture this: “The Hangover” minus Bradley Cooper’s smile, Zach Galifianakis’ incredibly entertaining idiocy and Ken Jeong’s epic freak outs. Now take that image and throw in four 70 year-old men, Viagra and death.

 

That picture, my friends, encapsulates director Jon Turteltaub’s newest film “Last Vegas.” And for those of you that may not catch onto the visual, let me sum it up for you. “Last Vegas” ultimately ends up as a completely pointless film and nothing worth recommending you spend a dollar on.

The film opens with the four adolescents in Brooklyn, messing around and taking photo booth pictures at the local drug store. Then it quickly fast-forwards 58 years and shows how each person’s life has evolved.

Morgan Freeman is the divorcé, an inherently gleeful man who “just wants to dance” but is trapped living with his son. Robert De Niro, the widower, plays a role he knows all too well as the intense, grudge-holding, grumpy old guy. Kevin Kline, whose wife is played by Joanna Gleason, is happily married. And this picture wouldn’t be complete without Michael Douglas being cast to perfection as the rich bachelor living in Malibu with his “infant” 30-ish year old gold digging girlfriend.

Really, the only things holding the film together are the actors in it: the ultimate collection of charming old movies stars: De Niro, Freeman, Douglas and a slightly lesser known Kline. These four manage to show their experience and professionalism while also generating a decent number of giggles and smiles for the audience.

It is probably their effortless ability to successfully bring lightness to many of the annoyances that come with aging. It is at times overdone but nonetheless funny. So yes, “Last Vegas” does manage to draw a few emotional responses. But do not in any way expect an emotionally engaging, twisted, crazy or surprising plotline. This film needs zero thought.

After proposing to his girlfriend in a very unusual way, Billy (Douglas) invites his Brooklyn childhood buddies to Vegas. While a spontaneous trip to Vegas was nothing but needed for Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline), Paddy (De Niro) is more reluctant due to an old grudge against Billy.

After a humorous act put on by Archie, Paddy agrees to the trip. Once arriving, the men waste no time with their “ball-busting humor” and the root of Paddy’s anger becomes quite clear. And from there, it only takes all of 10 minutes to figure out what else will happen, especially once Mary Steenburgen appears playing a lounge singer who adds a little drama when she befriends the four men.

Ultimately, the best part of this movie was the Thunder Down Under banner (Google with caution) or maybe it was simply hearing the “voice of God” a.k.a Morgan Freeman.  But after getting past the “good parts” in the first 20 minutes of this film, I strongly contemplated taking a nice walk to the concession stand then out the doors to my Enterprise “WeShare” Car.  I am hoping that “Last Vegas” will be the last bad movie I review this year. But that is not a good bet.