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Film review: ‘Last Vegas’ is a battle of cliches

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Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas pick up easy paychecks in Last Vegas.

Two stars

Last Vegas Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.

It takes very little time before Last Vegas gets to a Viagra joke, and the movie’s humor about old age doesn’t get any more sophisticated as it unfolds. Marketed as a sort of The Hangover for senior citizens, Last Vegas proves much less audacious and much less funny than its theoretical inspiration, relying on predictable humor and equally predictable sentiment instead of something bold or unexpected. It’s a victory lap for its aging stars, with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline playing a quartet of old friends who head to Las Vegas for the quickie wedding of Douglas’ Billy to a woman less than half his age.

The Vegas scenes are shot like an LVCVA commercial (the movie is a great ad for Aria), but with less creativity. The Vegas clichés compete with the old-age clichés for the title of most obvious, and De Niro reaches a new low point in his career when he ends up with Redfoo’s crotch thrusting toward his face while the guys judge a bikini contest (because Vegas). The character arcs are equally worn-out, and writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love, The Guilt Trip) gives each friend one basic issue to conveniently work out over the course of the trip. The stars are, of course, old pros, but only Kline seems to be putting in any effort—not that the lazy material warrants it. If The Hangover made Vegas look dangerous and exciting, Last Vegas makes it into a playground of safe mediocrity.

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