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11/05/2013

'Last Vegas,' where laughs go to die

Last375
Kevin Kline, left, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas go through the motions in "Last Vegas." (CBS Films)
Last Vegas sounded like such a fun, silly idea at first. 

Four lifelong buddies of an advanced age head to Las Vegas to celebrate the upcoming marriage of one of their own to a 30ish woman less than half his age.

Unfortunately, even with accomplished actors Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Mary Steenburgen out front, Last Vegas plays like a tired, last-gasp effort of fading movie stars chasing a fleeing spotlight.

 Sure, it had to be what has been referred to by some – including this critic – as a “geezer” version of The Hangover, which has finally run its course (thank goodness) after three outings.

The only sliver of good news here is that there is no way Last Vegas should even return for one encore.  In fact, this desperate attempt at elder comedy, best friend camaraderie and looking for love in all the wrong places shouldn’t have even found the light of a projector.

Let me put it this way, if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen all the funny, borderline funny and watchable parts of Last Vegas.  Douglas, as Billy, the groom-to-be, De Niro (Paddy, Billy’s anger-consumed former best friend), Freeman (Archie, the heavily medicated one who loves to drink and dance), Kline (Sam, who has a “free pass” to cheat on his wife) and Steenburgen (the kindly aging Vegas lounge songbird) should have all told their agents to pass on this project; or at the very least demanded a better script.

Director Jon Turteltaub, who has found some success entertaining the masses with the National Treasure franchise of comic-adventures, can’t find anything to show movie-goers about Las Vegas we haven’t seen before.  Even worse, the script by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) relies on too many clichés – December/May engagement, mentally sparring best friends, true love waiting where someone least expects it – fails to keep this dismal attempt at sentimental comedy interesting.

Failed comedy is never pretty, but this one is ugly enough to hurt.

Save your money.  The reason has very little to do with the fact that this group of actors are all of a certain age.  For some reason, they all hitched their stars to a turkey.

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MPAA rating:  PG-13 (profanity, sexual content)

105 minutes

Jalapeño rating:  1 (out of 4)

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Hi Ronnie,
I'm glad you enjoyed "Last Vegas." I was looking forward to liking it as well, it just didn't work for me on so many levels.
Thanks for the comment,
Larry

I really enjoyed the movie and laughed many times during the film.

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