Review: ‘Last Vegas’ Is Hellish Vision

Review: 'Last Vegas' Is Hellish Vision

Jon Turteltaub’s “Last Vegas,” which won’t be the last of
anything, is a visionary movie — the vision being hellish. We’ve already been
seeing the likes of it — aging stars, packaged together for amalgamated
throw-weight. And we’re going to see more of its comedic ilk as the Boomers
slouch toward the box office/grave, with humor that rests — as if against an
aluminum walker — on cheap geriatric sex gags, prostate jokes, and bad eyesight. 

And the presumption that people as potent as Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas,
Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline would never actually NEED Viagra, because, after
all, they’re movie stars.

Trailers, generally, are created out of footage from a given
film. Not vice versa, which is the sense one gets from “Last Vegas” — that the
movie was an afterthought, and that any random 30 seconds could be fashioned
into an advertisement. But this kind of style, with its epileptic-seizure
editing and silicon-bolstered supporting cast, may be just right for a foreign
audience, which is likely where “Last Vegas” is going to hit the jackpot.

None of its stars are hard to watch, even Michael Douglas,
but Kevin Kline gives one pause. This is partly because he’s playing older — at
66, he’s a decade younger than Freeman, about four years younger than De Niro
and Douglas, and has never made enough movies to suit his fans, who won’t be
surprised that he’s the best thing in “Last Vegas.” He creates the most
sympathetic character and exhibits the best comic timing and does so despite
having the least defined persona among the so-called “Flatbush Four,” whom we
first meet 58 years ago, when their future selves were formed: Paddy (De Niro)
the tough-guy/sourpuss; Billy (Douglas) the slightly oily operator; Archie
(Freeman), the strong but gentle humanist, and Sam (Kline) who’s really hard to
pin an adjective on. Basically, he seems to be Kevin Kline with white hair,
glasses and a condom in his pocket, which he got from his wife (Joanna Gleason)
along with the permission to use it, as long as he never tells her what
happened. It seems slightly pathetic, as regards both domesticity and

No city has gotten the kind of fellating that Las Vegas gets
from “Last Vegas,” which can’t impress on us enough what a party-hearty town it
is, how no one ever goes broke or even goes home — the plotline seems to go on
for days, as the four Flatbushinos strive, desperately, to put a celebratory
spin on Billy’s upcoming nuptials, with a woman some 40 years his junior. To
their credit, they think it’s a bad idea. It’s not the only one.

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