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Douglas comedy has basic instincts

JAMES CROOT
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2014
Last Vegas

PREDICTABLE: Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Robert de Niro star alongside Kevin Kline (absent) in old-man styled comedy Last Vegas.

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REVIEW: LAST VEGAS (M) 105mins

Friends for almost six decades, the Flatbush four have survived marriages, divorces and operations.

But as Billy (Michael Douglas) calls the other trio together to help him celebrate his impending marriage to a woman half his age ("32? I have a haemorrhoid that's almost as old," opines Morgan Freeman's Archie), he uncovers that each of them are struggling with life.

Now blessed with a titanium hip and knee, the spark has gone out of Sam's (Kevin Kline) marriage, while Archie "can't smoke, eat, drink or stay out past nine" and Paddy (Robert De Niro) has been traumatised by his beloved wife's death and can't get over a long-standing grudge against Billy.

However, even he's reluctantly persuaded to join in the pre-wedding bachelor festivities in Vegas as the quartet attempt to prove they can still party like it's 1959.

Sitting somewhere between a baby boomer version of The Hangover (with 50 Cent subbing in for Mike Tyson) and Hope Springs (with a side order of Sleepers), director John Turtletaub's (While You Were Sleeping, National Treasure) film is a mildly entertaining, if painfully predictable seniors-behaving-badly comedy.

While avoiding some of the more obvious sin city landmarks and pointing out some of the less savoury elements (traffic jams, accommodation woes), it still manages to come across like a tourism brochure with the boys trying out rollercoasters, cavorting with Cirque performers (as well as meeting seemingly all of Vegas' freaky and chesty denizens) and inexplicably judging a bikini competition.

Actually, the sexism is rampant (including an ill-judged Hall Pass-esque subplot) and screenwriter Dan Fogelman's (The Guilt Trip, Crazy Stupid Love) judgment is only redeemed by a sparky chanteuse, cheekily brought to life by Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future III), who steals the film's best line - "Remember to tip your waitress, it's funny watching them fall over".

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