2013 Running time: 101 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Three sixty-something buddies - Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline - take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal (Michael Douglas). National Treasure and While You Were Sleeping director Jon Turteltaub presents The Hangover with a hip replacement in this affable and hugely amusing look at friendship.

Director

  • Jon Turteltaub

Cast

  • Robert De Niro

  • Michael Douglas

  • Morgan Freeman

  • Kevin Kline

  • Mary Steenburgen

  • Romany Malco

Review

Once a gang of Brooklyn tearaways, the Flatbush Four have grown apart in the ensuing 60 years. Stan (Kline) is bored and sarcastic in a Florida retirement home and Archie (Freeman) is recovering from a stroke in New Jersey. Paddy's (De Niro) distraught after the loss of his wife while Billy (Douglas) is tanned and successful in Malibu.

But when Billy decides to propose to his nubile young girlfriend, it's time for the gang to reunite for a Vegas blowout... if Billy and Paddy can overcome their differences.

Last Vegas shares some DNA with Adam Sandler's mystifyingly successful Grown Ups films. But where this sherry-tinged Hangover charms you is with its heart and cast.

With a proper story and characters with more than one dimension, it's easy to root for these ageing rapscallions - even if you're under no illusions where the film's heading and also highly distracted by Douglas' taut face, a cross between his dad Kirk and a bird.

Kline's always a joy while Freeman's never been funnier - or more nimble on the dance floor. It's also refreshing to see De Niro, if not even close to his best or trying especially hard, featured in a comedy that needs him to do more than torment Ben Stiller.

Douglas anchors the enterprise as the group's aspiring leader, enjoying some heartwarming scenes with De Niro and Mary Steenburgen's alluring lounge singer.

There's an LMFAO cameo, which presumably felt current when the film was being shot, and a subplot about hotel employees scrutinising Archie's casino prowess gets forgotten as events grow more raucous.

But director Turteltaub deserves credit for letting his esteemed actors do their thing, rather than forcing them into tired stunts.

The character's age is the butt of several - but not too many - jokes yet this isn't a Vegas comedy that's just about mad parties, or protagonists having more fun than the audience. It's an unsurprising but well-paced, genuinely funny and often moving comedy.

Lewis Bazley

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