The boys from Stand By Me grew up, grew apart, then decided to recreate The Hangover, but with fewer laughs, and call it Last Vegas.
Playboy Billy (Douglas) gets engaged for the first time to a 30-something woman and his three life-long best buddies – widower Paddy (De Niro), stroke survivor Sam (Freeman) and restless married Sam (Kline) – decide to throw him the ultimate bachelor party in Las Vegas.
Emotional ballast, such as it is, comes in the feud between Billy and Paddy over the girl they both courted as lads and how history threatens to repeat itself with a comely lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen).
How great it must be to be an American baby boomer because, according to Last Vegas, old age is really a carefree cashed up second adolescence, in rebellion against despairing adult children.
The same middling screenwriter as The Guilt Trip and Crazy Stupid Love has a heavyweight cast most film-makers would kill for go mild in America’s playground.
The pleasure relies entirely on watching these four esteemed veterans of stage and screen loosen up and enjoy themselves as grey hounds bickering, bonding, gambling and partying with bikini clad girls, while showing the kids how it’s done.
Last Vegas is as disposably enjoyable and unsubtle as the city it so cheerfully advertises.
TWO POPCORNS OUT OF FIVE
Last Vegas (M)
Starring: Robert De Niro (American Hustle), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Morgan Freeman (Now You See Me).
Director: Jon Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, National Treasure).
Screening: Dorothy Brown’s Cinema, Arrowtown