Sunday, 16 February 2014
Four men spend a weekend in Las Vegas to celebrate an impending wedding.
The opening scene of 'Last Vegas' is set in 1950s New York with a simple scene to demonstrate the early bonds of the foursome. The film then jumps forward 58 years. We get the message that three of the men have married in the intervening years. The fourth has remained a womanising bachelor but whilst delivering a eulogy at a funeral he makes a public proposal to his much younger girlfriend. As you do.
In Hollywood this means an instant wedding for what apparently is the following weekend and a wedding in Las Vegas is an excuse for a bachelor party reunion for the four long time friends.
The four friends (Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) are around the 70 years mark and the film embarks on a series of situations and jokes about ageing. Some of the one liners hit the mark. You don't have to be a senior citizen to get a joke about Lipitor but it certainly helps. Another one liner, when Kline's character is asked was he good at sex, has a response that is well timed, simple and funny.
However, 'Last Vegas' is a very uneven film indeed. One sequence in which the four men judge, for want of a better word, a poolside beauty contest is crass to say the least. The sequence does nothing to contribute or progress the storyline and seems to exist only to fill in five minutes of film time or, as I suspect, to promote Las Vegas as a holiday destination. Simply tacky.
A lot of the film is tacky in fact. A potentially interesting film is let down by a dearth of ideas exemplified by Mary Steenburgen's character, a club singer, who has to sing the same song three times, albeit wearing a different outfit on each occasion.