'Last Vegas' Review: Ah, The Old Mangover

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'Last Vegas' Review: Ah, The Old Mangover

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | November 1, 2013 | Comments ()


I’ll make this brief, not because Last Vegas is a bad movie, but because it’s not substantial enough for a meaningful review. Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Kevin Kline, and Morgan Freeman are four old codgers staring down the barrel of mortality when Douglas’ character calls them with news he’s getting hitched to a woman half his age. The foursome — who have been best friends for 60 years — break free from their muted and miserable home lives and spend the weekend cutting a rug in Vegas together.

There are old-man gags, Viagra jokes, a few puns, display cases of cleavage, and a lot of gawking, but there’s plenty of foul-mouthed camaraderie, too. As The Hangover rip-offs go, it’s immeasurably better than the last two installments of that franchise, and it beats the the elastic out of The Bucket List’s socks. While it may be an easy movie to dismiss, it is an impossible one to trash. It’s too earnest, too soft hearted. The four old geezers crank the charm up to 11, douse the hornball humor in sentimentality, and there’s enough twinkle in the eyes of the characters to light up a goddamn disco floor.

It’s not a great movie by any stretch, but it’s probably the best thing that either Michael Douglas or Robert DeNiro has done in years. It’s easy-going, gentle-humored, and inoffensive, mixing just enough charisma and affability to pleasantly pass the time while we all wait to die.

(*Headline pun blatantly stolen from Joanna Robinson)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Nunchucko

    I can't wait for the reboot in three years starring the cast from Grown Ups. Chris Rock comes to his senses and stops slumming it with the Sandlerettes. Kevin James courageously steps up, loses 60 lbs and wears black face in a bid for OSCAR GLORY.

    (And if Salma Hayek shows up as Ultra MILF, well......just take my money already.)

  • John G.

    This makes me sad.

  • Sean

    I am sure that my father will enjoy seeing this. Especially since he is that age. But he weirdly looks younger than any of them. Considering how much plastic surgery Douglas has had, kind of impressive.

  • So, which one of them is dying? Because I assume that one of them is dying.

  • pajiba

    I would've assumed as much, as well. But nope: No one dies, or is under any major threat of dying.

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, this is a minefield, but I'm going to say it anyway.

    I can deal with the age span (Freeman [1937] to Kline [1947] is not that large a gap). I can deal with the rehashed Hangover meme. And believe me, I get the whole "willful suspension of disbelief" thing.

    But there's a HUGE elephant in the room that no one seems to want to address. It's called the 1950s.

    While I don't completely dismiss the thought that three white guys could be lifelong friends with a black guy (living that experience myself as I have), the idea that it could have happened through some of the most violently racist years in American history, something that these guys would have gone through as tweens or teens, is something that I'm having trouble parsing.

    I mean, hey, just a couple of days ago, we were watching Marie Laveau raising a zombie army in the fifties over a lynching just after Brown v. Board of Education. I can't say there weren't parts of the country where racial tensions like that weren't an issue, but that kind of social integration didn't seem to be as prevalent for my parents (who were still in de facto segregated schools -- on opposite sides of the Mason-Dixon line -- through the early sixties, and they're only a couple of years older than Kevin Kline).

    I'm not trying to throw cold water on what's supposed to be a fluffy bro comedy that isn't supposed to be that deep, but the whole race thing is just something that won't stop nagging me. An America where the fifties can be glossed over is near to inconceivable for me.

  • sanity fair

    But Morgan Freeman makes everything better!

  • apricot ashtray

    I did tell my dad after watching this movie tonight, that when I die I hope God's voice sounds like Morgan Freeman. Because if he sounds anything like Tyson or Beckham I will be pissed!

  • e jerry powell

    True, that. It just seems more a nod to tokenism, but I'm trying to let that go. Black actors need work.

  • The Kitastrophe

    "It’s not a great movie by any stretch, but it’s probably the best thing that
    either Michael Douglas or Robert DeNiro has done in years."

    Man, Catherine Zeta-Jones is going to punch you right in the nose.

  • e jerry powell

    Once she can recover from having had Michael Douglas all up in her girl business so intently.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I want to be ashamed of Kevin Kline for being in this, but he looks so cute in the header picture. Aw, Kline. I can't be mad at you.

  • Bert_McGurt

    "...but it’s probably the best thing that either Michael Douglas or Robert DeNiro has done in years."

    Have we forgotten the splendour of Behind the Candelabra already?

  • pajiba

    Yes, yes, I had. My mistake. How about best FEATURE film Douglas has done in years.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'll drink to that! The main reason his Liberace stands out so much is that I can't even REMEMBER any other films he's been in over the past decade besides the ill-advised Wall Street sequel.

  • Anthony Hoffman

    Silver Linings Playbook for Bobby D?

  • pajiba

    Well, damnit. You're right. NEVERMIND THEN.

  • ray

    Ernest Hemingway would be proud of you Joanna

  • AngelenoEwok

    Is this comment for real?

  • JenVegas

    Oh Man I wish these guys would team up to do something, ANYTHING else. I saw them all on The Today Show this morning. It made me sad.

  • Anthony Hoffman

    They all couldn't have given a shit. And when you're in the "Orange Room" with Carson at 7am, how could you?

  • Maguita NYC

    "It’s easy-going, gentle-humored, and inoffensive, mixing just enough charisma and affability to pleasantly pass the time while we all wait to die."

    This is what most of the regurgitated comedies should aim for, while finding a new formula for a fresher funnier approach.

    A wonderful modest review for an inoffensive movie! I am counting my little change see if cheap Tuesday movie night would be filled with charming old geezers.

  • AvaLehra

    If we were neighbors, I would totally go with you. I'd even buy you some popcorn -- but only the child's size.

  • Maguita NYC

    Child size is fine as long as we can sneak in adult-size alcohol! And that is a deal: Let's pull our little change together, and make this happen some time! :D

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