Arts movie review

Light comic relief from four old stars

An underwhelming twist on the Vegas bachelor party

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From left to right, Sam Harris (Kevin Kline), Paddy Connors (Robert De Niro), Billy Gherson (Michael Douglas), and Archie Clayton (Morgan Freeman) in Last Vegas, a comedy about four old friends who go to Vegas to throw a bachelor party for one of them.
Chuck Zlotnick


Last Vegas

Directed by Jon Turtletaub

Starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline

Rated PG-13

Now playing

The movie opens with a glimpse of New York in the 1950s and “The Flatbush Four,” a gang of agile, smart-aleck 10-year-olds who assert themselves after punching, stealing, and getting a cute girl. The movie then fast forwards to their current reality, and we meet four decrepit old men: Archie (Morgan Freeman), who is recovering from a stroke and under the care of an overprotective son; Sam (Kevin Kline), who is the lucky husband of a beautiful, considerate, and permissive wife, but has suffered his share of the quotidian married life; Paddy (Robert De Niro), who is depressed because his adored wife passed away and he has not been able to recover; and Billy (Michael Douglas), a successful businessman who is about to marry a Barbie doll half his age. They are pathetic, and they know it.

The solution? Live-it up! Throw a bachelor party for the only one who has remained single!

A few phone calls, planned escapes, and successful convincing efforts later, we find our four champs in Las Vegas. Upon arrival, Archie has an excellent run of luck at blackjack, making the Flatbush Four start off their adventure in a complimentary suite with a fat wad of money. But they (and we) really hit the jackpot when they meet Diana (Mary Steenburgen), a gorgeous contemporary whose sultry voice entertains an audience of close to zero, making it pretty easy for her to go on little escapades with her new friends. She is the one and only refreshing thing about this film.

The movie moves along revealing well kept secrets, making our boys fall in love once again, ensuing in fights and reconciliations amidst bikini contests and one too many scotches, failing at attempts to appease their libidos, and dancing to “oldies but goodies.” You will laugh a bit more than you’ll want to admit, and jerk a tear or two in spite of yourself, but that is about it. Though the cast makes you believe that you’re in for something of somewhat higher quality than your regular comedy, Last Vegas is pretty deceiving. At best, it’s an airplane movie.