Ostensibly the geriatric version of The Hangover, Last Vegas is a humorous romp that follows four childhood friends who reunite in their senior years to throw a bachelor party for their last free man still standing. Less gratuitous and vulgar than its aforementioned ilk, Last Vegas nonetheless offers plenty of laughs but isn’t afraid to trades some jokes for meaningful moments of catharsis with surprising emotional depth.
The long and short of it is that it’s probably not quite as funny as you’d expect, but it still manages to provide more or less what you’d hope for. Much of this is thanks to the four leads – Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline – who generate a lot of goodwill and are clearly having a blast. It’s easy to get behind these characters because the actors themselves are so inherently likeable.
The unexpected standout however is Mary Steenburgen as Diana, a lounge singer channelling a bit of Margot Kidder who becomes romantically involved with the so-called ‘Flatbush Four’. Of course, it’s director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) who successfully combines all of these elements. Turteltaub is adept at balancing humour with clever character beats and this is yet again on display in Last Vegas. The result is an assured and easy-to-digest entertainment, one that succeeds in offering a subdued and eminently more likeable version of The Hangover.
Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline are great company in this senior alternative to The Hangover.