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Last Vegas

Last Vegas

USA 2013 - with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Last Vegas
Direction:Jon Turteltaub
Cinema release:14.11.2013
Production country:USA 2013
Running time:Approx. 105 min.
Rated:Age 0+
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What the guys from Hangover can do, a squad of Hollywood veteran stars consisting of four Oscar winners can already do. At least that's what director Jon Turteltaub thought and sent Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline on a very special weekend trip to Las Vegas. Here they reunite after years as old childhood friends Billy (Douglas), Paddy (De Niro), Sam (Kline) and Archie (Freeman) to celebrate Billy's wedding to the much younger Lisa (Bre Blair). Actually a reason for joy, but old conflicts between Billy and Paddy hang from the beginning like a dark cloud over the party weekend. The fact that the four gentlemen are also no longer the youngest and have long since exchanged parties and binge drinking for afternoon naps and heart pills, is also not exactly an advantage in a city like Vegas. But the spry retirees don't want to have their fun spoiled that easily. A big gambling win and participation as judges in a bikini contest later, nothing seems to stand in the way. Until both the actually engaged Billy and the lonely widower Paddy start to take an interest in the same woman.

Last Vegas seems from the trailer to actually be just a geriatric version of Hangover. That this proves to be a fallacy is equally the comedy's greatest strength, but also its greatest weakness. In the first half, the film offers good laughs virtually every second. Admittedly, they all come from the overused category of "Look, we're old and we've got a lot of aches and pains". But the way these jokes are delivered by the actors just works and is a lot of fun. While Robert De Niro as the curmudgeon is on very familiar ground, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline can convince with an almost mischievous play. How the older gentlemen prevail against arrogant youngsters or wannabe machos is extremely amusing precisely because of the play of the Oscar winners.

In the second half of the film, the number of gags decreases significantly. Here the story puts much more emphasis on emotionality, which also produces a few nice moments, but also runs the risk of slipping too much into the kitschy. And that's exactly what happens when Billy and Paddy finally talk things out or when Archie makes it clear to his overprotective son that he may be old, but that doesn't make him a helpless baby. While the humor occasionally reveals something like bite at the beginning, political correctness gains the upper hand towards the end. As a result, director Jon Turteltaub squanders a great deal of the potential the comedy revealed in its first hour, turning it into a run-of-the-mill, utterly interchangeable mass-produced product.

Surely, the actors still manage to avert the worst here. Their acting has enough obvious enjoyment in these roles and enough aplomb to mitigate some script weaknesses. Still, even the cumulative power of the four can't prevent Last Vegas from drifting further and further away from the film it could and should have been in the final third. Sure, even the beginning doesn't really bristle with ingenuity and profound ambition. But at least the first hour offers the viewer plenty of fun and some very nice plot developments as well. But due to the overflowing sentimentality the whole thing flattens out to such an extent that in the end a really funny comedy only turns into a nice, ponderous and somehow trivial movie, which still deserves a "worth seeing" rating. But there would have been more in it!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Last Vegas (USA 2013)"
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