DVD Review by Kam Williams
Quintet of Oscar-Winners Co-Star in Bawdy Buddy Comedy
Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline), inseparable since growing up in Flatbush back in the Fifties, have managed to remain close over the years despite the demands of families and careers. That’s why, when never-married Billy finally decides to tie the knot, the others agree to throw him a bawdy bachelor party in Las Vegas, hoping to rekindle a little of the macho magic of their glory days.
But even before arriving in Sin City, the long-in-the-tooth senior citizens are forced to face up to the fact that they’re no spring chickens. After all, Archie is still recovering from a mild stroke, and has to tell his son (Michael Ealy) he’s attending a church retreat to sneak out of the house.
Meanwhile, Sam, who suffers from a futile case of erectile dysfunction, packs Viagra and condoms for the trip with his frustrated wife’s (Joanna Gleason) blessing. And recently-widowed Paddy has entirely lost his zest for life since the passing of his childhood sweetheart (Olivia Stuck).
Even groom-to-be Billy seems to be having second thoughts about walking down the aisle with a woman half his age (Bre Blair), especially after his head is turned at first sight by the hotel’s sultry, lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen). Consequently, the reassembled Rat Pack’s highly-anticipated reunion turns out to be less a licentious last hurrah than a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. For the guys end up spending more of their time reminiscing and teasing each other than in pursuit of potential sexual conquests.
Directed by Dan Turtletaub (National Treasure 1, 2 and 3), Last Vegas is a laff-a-minute comedy, with most of the humor coming at the expense of members of this self-effacing quartet as they grudgingly make concessions to old age. They remain good sports, whether being the butt of jokes about hair transplants, hair color, medications, looking old or mistakenly flirting with transvestites.
Not surprisingly, the principal cast, featuring Academy Award-winners Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, has no trouble generating a convincing sense of camaraderie onscreen. What is more remarkable is how another Oscar-winner, Mary Steenburgen, makes the most of her support role, upstaging her male co-stars by exhibiting an endearing vulnerability in a most memorable performance.
The Hangover, geezer style!
Excellent (3.5 stars)
PG-13 for profanity and sexuality
Running time: 105 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Filmmaker commentary; Four Legends; The Flatbush Four; and It’s Going to Be Legendary.
To see a trailer for Last Vegas, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvK3m0wJutI