DVDSleuth.com is your source for daily DVD news and reviews.
Last Vegas (2013)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 1/28/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 1/27/2014
It's very easy to accuse some Hollywood movies of being stupid, and we can say that some celebrities do some stupid things, but don't ever accuse the people who control the money in Hollywood of being stupid. Sure, they miss every now and then, but they are very good at following trends, knowing who their audience is and, most importantly, knowing what their audience wants. Thanks to advances in medicine, people are living longer and today's seniors are part of a generation which grew up with movies and are still eager to watch movies. Thus, Hollywood is smart enough to create programming for this demographic, and we get movies like Last Vegas.
Last Vegas introduces us to four men who have been friends for over 60 years. Sam (Kevin Kline) lives in a retirement community in Florida with his wife (Joanna Gleason) and he's incredibly bored. Archie (Morgan Freeman) lives with his son's family and due to the fact that he's had a stroke, his activities are monitored and limited. Paddy (Robert De Niro) lives by himself in a small apartment and he rarely goes out. Bill (Michael Douglas) lives in an oceanside house in California and he's engaged to Lisa (Bre Blair), who is over half his age. Billy calls his friends to inform them that he's getting married in Vegas, and Sam and Archie decide that they must be there to throw a bachelor party. The two drag Paddy along, who has an old grudge with Billy. Once in Vegas, the four men reunite and a simple get-together turns into an all-out party, as they decide that they are tired of being tired and not embracing life.
Last Vegas may be one of the most cliche-ridden movies which I've ever seen. Everyone in the film is some sort of stereotype and most of the jokes focus on some derivative of making fun of older people. (When Sam is asked if he has any drugs, his reply is, "Does Lipitor count?") The movie's jumping off point is the notion that these four older men will feel out of place in modern-day Las Vegas and it never lets go of this idea. It just keeps putting them in one situation after another, where they are shocked and confused. Offering this sort of cliched story makes the movie incredibly predictable. If you stopped the movie at the 20-minute mark and asked viewers to guess what would happen in the remainder of the film, I would say that over 90% of them would be right on the mark. That other 10% either has no imagination or has never seen a movie before.
So, Last Vegas is a complete train-wreck, right? No, instead, it's the cinematic equivalent of comfort food. First of all, it's great to not only see these four actors working together, but it's even better to see them in a silly comedy. (I'm always saying that more dramatic actors need to lighten up and do something funny. I'm looking at you, Denzel.) The jokes may be stale, but these pros put a great spin on them, making them feel fresh and new. One of the movie's main points is that these four love ribbing one another and this playful banter makes for some very funny moments. Of the four, Kevin Kline is arguably the least well-known, but he is given the best dialogue and he really steals the show. The supporting cast is good, but we really don't need them, as the four stars carry the movie, providing plenty of laughs. The movie tries for serious moments, and while these are fine, they aren't quite as moving as the film wants them to be.
Going in, I had my doubts about Last Vegas, but Director Jon Turtletaub has a good track record, and I knew that the odds of the four main stars picking a dud were low. While the Viagra and hip-replacement jokes do get old very quickly, the film remains consistently funny through-out, and, as one would hope, I think that this would appeal to an older crowd, as long as they could stomach a little blue humor. This isn't a comedy classic, and I can't remember any quotable lines, but this isn't that kind of movie. Last Vegas is about watching four old pros having a good time and being pleasantly entertaining. It's certainly worth a rental and while the story won't surprise you, I think that the film's charm will.
Last Vegas trots out half of LMFAO, and if old people don't love Redfoo, then who do they love on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. (Although the bitrate does dip into the teens.) The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from source materials. The colors look great (this is a colorful movie) and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is very good (we can make out textures on objects) and the depth is appropriate for a Blu-ray Disc. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 48 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. There are several party scenes and for a movie like this, we get a surprising amount of deep subwoofer action from the dance music. The stereo effects show good separation, and really stand out when the guys are at the pool. The surround sound effects show nice detail at times, and they don't simply duplicate the front channel.
The Last Vegas Blu-ray Disc contains several extras. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director Jon Turtletaub and Screenwriter Dan Fogelman. "It's Going to Be Legendary" (3 minutes) is a brief featurette which gives an overview of the story and characters. "Shooting in Sin City" (3 minutes) has the actors and filmmakers discussing how Vegas is like a character in the movie and how if figures into the story, but they don't actually talk about shooting there. "Four Legends" (3 minutes) has the four main actors describing what is was like to work together. "The Redfoo Party" (2 minutes) examines the scenes which features the LMFAO party-rocker. "The Flatbush Four" (2 minutes) looks at the camaraderie between the four main characters. We are introduced to some of the other actors in the film in “Supporting Ensemble” (2 minutes).
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long