LET me start off by admitting: I wasn’t a fan of The Hangover, or its sequel, and I never bothered with the third.
The comparisons between The Hangover and Last Vegas are unavoidable – they’re both films about bachelor parties in Las Vegas.
There are antics, scantily clad women and drunken moments. That’s where the similarities end.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Last Vegas is led by a stellar cast: Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline and is cleverly scripted, gaining regular laughs without having to resort to profanity, nudity or downright toilet humour.
The scene is set with a flashback to the 50s with four adolescent boys making their mark on their ‘hood’ in New York.
Move forward 58 years: Billy (Douglas) is an eternal bachelor who has an epiphany and decides he doesn’t want to end up like his protege and die alone in bed. He proposes to his 32-year-old girlfriend and calls his old mates to share the good news.
Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) – both bored with their lives – immediately suggest a bachelor weekend in Las Vegas, the only problem is getting Paddy (DeNiro) on board as we learn he and Billy have had a falling out.
The reason behind the split is gradually uncovered throughout the film, but as with many ‘bromances’ it’s safe to reveal, there’s a woman involved.
One from the past and one from the present.
Once in Sin City each of the four men are drawn like moths to a flame to sassy lounge singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen). But who’ll get the girl this time?
The characters aren’t too far apart from those we’re used to from Douglas and DeNiro, but it’s great to see them on screen together with Freeman and Kline mostly having fun and letting their (grey) hair down.
Elderly jokes a-plenty, Last Vegas is a comedy with real heart (thanks largely to the superb acting and witty script) and at the core speaks to anyone who knows how important it is to have mates who know you better than you know yourself, but love you anyway.
The seniors in the audience will certainly be able to relate to jokes about titanium hips, overprotective kids, pill-popping and the difficulty in realising your body isn’t as young as your mind thinks it is.
But even the ‘young ones’ will get a good chuckle at the ‘oldies’ expense.
Last Vegas is in cinemas from tomorrow.