Sunday, November 10, 2013
The obvious selling point for Last Vegas is the star-studded, veteran (nicely put) lineup that was intended to hook older viewers. If you sit a 40-70 year old down and ask them whether they have a certain affection for one of the four Last Vegas stars (Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, or Kevin Kline), they are almost certain to enjoy at least one of these great actors' storied careers. Even at 22, I'm a huge fan of both Kline and Freeman, and, of course, I loved Douglas in Wall Street. However, at 22, I really thought the humor of Last Vegas might be a bit too innocent and old fashioned to successfully entertain someone like me, who is used to the R-rated comedy world of The Hangover and Seth Rogen. Although it was sold as The Hangover for old people, I didn't really think it would be able to deliver those Hangover laughs. Nevertheless, in an attempt to appease my better half, I decided to give Last Vegas a chance and skip out on Ender's Game. Maybe Ender won't blow me up with his cool powers that I don't really understand (on account of I didn't get to watch the movie).
Well, I was right about one thing... plot-wise, Last Vegas was far from The Hangover for old people. Actually, the only similarity it had to The Hangover was its location, and the fact that four men were involved. Honestly, it felt more like Grown Ups, featuring even OLDER stars! The whole concept that was embraced by Grown Ups (not Grown Ups 2) of a group of friends coming together and not really being in the same spot they were when they were last together was the exact same plot of Last Vegas. Luckily for Last Vegas, the jokes were absolutely hilarious! Now, I do want to give this disclaimer: I was in a great mood last weekend, so I was more apt to be laughing than many might be. Nevertheless, I thought this movie was hilarious, and I thought the jokes were perfectly balanced between the crudeness that younger audiences enjoy and the goofy, old people humor that goofy, old people enjoy. The only super-noticeable flaw was the way in which the old geezers obtained their gigantic suite, at their hotel. It was way out there, and, obviously, they couldn't come up with a better way to get them to their "party room."
The selection of Douglas, DeNiro, Freeman, and Kline for these roles was absolutely spot-on. I was very pleased with the way that their varying degrees of humor mixed with one another. From the unfunny Douglas to the hilariously silly Kline, there was rarely a moment where I felt anyone was taken out of their respective element.
The only character that I did not care for was Lonnie, played by Romany Malco, whose jokes just failed to resonate with me. He really wasn't necessary and eventually became a lame excuse to have 50 Cent appear in the film.
As the funnier of the four, I would have to say that Kevin Kline and Morgan Freeman shone a bit more than their Last Vegas costars. Although Kline was noticeably younger (10 years more so than Freeman), his hilarity overcame this oddity. I don't think I've ever seen Kline in a role that I did not enjoy. He may not be the biggest name in the game, but he always brings it home, as he continues to be underrated. Kudos to all of these guys for bringing on the laughs, and kudos to the filmmakers for getting them all together.
Gravity, Captain Phillips, and, now, Last Vegas--how many unexpected surprises can one guy take? Regardless, I'm just glad to have the opportunity to watch these great films. I know that Last Vegas is in a completely different universe, compared to the others, but I appreciate a good comedy just as well as a good drama. In fact, I dare say that it is harder to make a good comedy in this era of films, considering that the comedy hits have recently been limited to Melissa McCarthy and animation, on top of the fact that cool, 3D graphics don't lend their hand to many grown up comedies. Anyway, considering how low my expectations were, Last Vegas may be the most surprisingly good film of 2013. Hopefully, when I approach the age of 100, my friends and I will also be kicking it in Vegas. If we can't make it that far, we can always just watch this movie. I give Last Vegas 3.34 out of 5 stars.