Susan Granger's review of 'Last Vegas'
Combining the talents of Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, this senior citizen comedy reunites the Flatbush Four, best friends since growing up together in Brooklyn. The occasion is a bachelor party for wealthy, womanizing Malibu playboy Billy (Douglas) who's set to marry his gorgeous, 30-something girlfriend.
That rouses interest from Sam (Kline), who's terminally bored at a Florida retirement community and encouraged to re-awaken his libido by his supportive spouse (Joanna Gleason); Archie (Freeman), who, recovering from a stroke, is being held under constant surveillance by his overly-protective son (Michael Ealy); and grieving widower Paddy (DeNiro), who has refused to leave his New York apartment. Problem is: cranky curmudgeon Paddy is harboring a serious grudge against Billy.
In Sin City, the geezer quartet gloms onto Diana (Mary Steenburgen), a charmingly sassy lounge singer who's searching for life's second act. Forced to spend time in the casino until they can get rooms at the Aria, Sam befriends a drag queen (Roger Bart), while Archie's blackjack winnings catapult them into a palatial penthouse suite that's suddenly available now that 50 Cent has canceled his weekend reservation. That becomes the site for one of the wildest party Vegas has ever seen and a place for the foursome to work out their respective emotional issues.
Predictably, episodically scripted by Dan Fogelman
("The Guilt Trip," "Crazy, Stupid, Love") and amiably directed by Jon Turteltaub ("National Treasure" franchise), it's chock full of good-humored one-liners -- like when Archie tries Red Bull vodka, describing it
as "getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time" -- and they judge a pool-side bikini contest.
Since the four accomplished actors genuinely seem to be having a ball, the unpretentious fun is contagious. FYI: When Billy and Diana take that scary rooftop ride, it's real! It was filmed on the Stratosphere Hotel's X-Scream.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Last Vegas" is a disarmingly slick `n' spicy 7, aimed specifically at the 76 million baby boomers, who have tremendous spending power and are becoming increasingly important to Hollywood.