'Last Vegas,' more marketing than movie

ENTER MOVIE-LASTVEGAS 2 MCT
From left, Kevin Kline (as Sam Harris), Robert De Niro (as Paddy Connors), Michael Douglas (as Billy Gherson), and Morgan Freeman (as Archie Clayton) star in CBS Films' comedy "Last Vegas." (Chuck Zlotnick/CBS Films/MCT)

Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas, which opened in December 2009, is a real nice place. The casino is groovy; its nightclub, Haze, is rockin'; and its rooms are beautifully furnished.

If you're lucky enough to win a bundle of cash, you may get comped to one of the Sky Suites or Villas, VIP accommodation with such elegance, you may die with joy.

So claims the 105-minute infomercial Last Vegas. A slick, big-budget production, this ad doesn't feature bargain-basement spokesmen - not the fast-talking Ronco Rotisserie guy or the scary Ginsu Knife dude - but an impressive cast of aging Hollywood heavyweights: Robert De Niro, 70; Morgan Freeman, 76; Kevin Kline, 66; and Michael Douglas, 69.

A shameless bit of product placement set almost entirely at the Aria, director Jon Turteltaub's Last Vegas is a tedious, sexist, boys-will-be-boys (even if they're old men) comedy about four lifelong friends who meet up in Vegas to attend the wedding of one of their own.

And what's a Vegas wedding without a debauched stag party? Yep, our four mouseketeers even throw a bacchanalia that goes way past their bedtime.

Sound familiar? Just call this movie The Hangover: AARP Strikes Back.

Last Vegas opens with a nostalgic flashback showing the Flatbush Four, as the then-preadolescents called themselves, in action in 1955. They're tight, inseparable. Especially Billy and Paddy, both of whom are courting the same lass, Sophie.

Jump 58 years, and the friends have scattered across the country.

Paddy (De Niro), who ended up marrying Sophie, stayed in Brooklyn. Recently widowed, he's become a sourpuss and a curmudgeon.

Archie (Freeman) lives in New Jersey, while Sam (Kline) and his wife (Joanna Gleason) live in a retirement community in Florida. The groom, Billy (Douglas), has prospered. A business powerhouse, he has a nice pad in Malibu and is engaged to marry a woman half his age.

The four get drunk and reminisce. They hit the casino and the nightclub. And in one of the most vulgar, misogynistic scenes in recent memory, they judge a bikini beauty contest.

There's high drama too: Paddy and Billy are still bitter over Sophie. Things come to a head when both begin pursuing the same lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen).

Last Vegas is predictable palaver. The jokes aren't very funny, and there's a conspicuous lack of chemistry among the four leads.

This limp comedy does prove one important sociological theorem: You don't have to be young to make a jackass of yourself.

 


Last Vegas *1/2 (out of four stars)

Directed by Jon Turteltaub. With Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman. Distributed by CBS Films.

Running time: 1 hour, 45 mins.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (profanity, partial nudity, sexual situations, hemorrhoid jokes)

Playing at: Area theaters


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Last Vegas

Directed by Jon Turteltaub. With Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Romany Malco, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Jerry Ferrara, Mary Steenburgen, Roger Bart. Distributed by CBS Films.

Running time: 1 hours, 30 minutes.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (for sexual content and language).