Movie review: “Last Vegas”

last vegas

Last Vegas

dir. Jon Turtletaub

Release Date: Nov 01, 13

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There are times during Last Vegas in which I thought I was watching the apocalypse unfold onscreen. Forget the zombie thrills of The Walking Dead. The scariest things you’ll see all year are the listless corpses of four great actors’ careers, roving around this movie without heads. Director Jon Turtletaub enlisted Oscar winners Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Morgan Freeman to slum it in what must be the low point in their careers and Robert DeNiro to reach yet another nadir in his. The actors play a group of septuagenarians who hit up Vegas for one last hurrah when their friend (Michael Douglas) decides to get hitched to his much-younger girlfriend. It’s the Bachelor Party from hell, making Nicolas Cage’s drunken Vegas sojourn look enviable by comparison. I’d rather drink myself to death than watch this again.

Billed as The Hangover for old people, the movie expectedly tosses out fogey jokes like it’s shooting t-shirts from a cannon. You’ll find jokes about Viagra, Lipitor, fake hips and poor hearing, but the problem is that it’s not just insulting to seniors, who deserve better than Rickles for the comically tone-deaf. It’s insulting to everyone, as Last Vegas thinks that people of all ages are equally stupid. According to Turtletaub and screenwriter Dan Fogelman, all young people are drunken idiots who have nothing better to do than get spray tans and listen to LMFAO. The film has so little clue about Millenials that its most current references are The Black Eyed Peas and 50 Cent, who even makes a cameo in the movie. When was the last time Curtis Jackson was even a thing?

However, Fogelman’s script isn’t committed enough to be actually insulting, just totally clueless. Everything in Last Vegas is painfully obvious, from its dated jokes to narrative beats you can see coming a mile away. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie quite this shop-worn and predictable, and if you think there’s a tired plot thread the movie will wisely forget about, don’t worry. You’ll see it again. In a better movie, this might be an admirable quality, but in Last Vegas it feels painful, as if the movie were punishing you for being dumb enough to sit through it. Frankly, if you paid to see it, you might deserve a good spanking. But at least there’s a silver lining. At the end of the day, you get to go home and leave this movie behind and don’t have to have it on your resume for the rest of your reputable film career. What happens in Last Vegas should stay in Last Vegas.