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FILM FANS: 'Last Vegas' good for what it's worth

The movie is probably funnier for older audiences

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “Last Vegas.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

I was in the mood for some comic relief on Friday eve and so this movie was a good fit. It definitely had some funny lines and I laughed out loud. The audience seemed to be laughing a lot as well and enjoying the humor.

Michael Douglas does a strong job as the friend, Billy, who is getting married late in life. His friends are throwing a bachelor party for him after 50-plus years of friendship although they are concerned he is marrying a much younger woman. Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline and Robert De Niro are his longtime buddies and all have their own unique personalities.

De Niro, as Paddy, a recent widow, for example, has some unresolved issues with Billy. I also enjoyed Mary Steenburgen as Diane, a singer in Vegas, who becomes involved in their lives. Also, even though this movie had a lot of comedy, it also had some more emotional scenes with heart and some good messages about friendship. (A fun side note: My friend, Lindy, was an extra in this film, as the movie was partly filmed here in Gwinnett County.)

— Cindy Evans, Duluth

2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

I have to admit I went into “Last Vegas” with low expectations. After seeing the four principal cast members (Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman) appear together on the “Today Show” for an hour, and witnessing their lack of chemistry and enthusiasm for the film, I thought “Last Vegas” was going to be a bust. However, I found it to be mildly entertaining, funny and a little poignant, and not entirely predictable.

There are some moments when director John Turtletaub goes for low-brow humor, with jokes about Viagra, hip replacement and artificial hair color for men. But there is plenty of sentimentality, too. Mary Steenburgen, who does her own singing in the film, brings a sweetness to her role (although she won’t be challenging Celine Dion for her concert stage at Caesars Palace anytime soon).

Pacing is good, and there are enough twists to the plot to keep you wondering how it will end. I think the over-50 crowd will enjoy this movie. With a PG-13 rating, the writers and producers have tried to keep it clean enough for the teen crowd, but I doubt that age group would have interest in “Last Vegas.”And that’s a shame, really, because it’s a fun diversion for a couple of hours.

— Paul Tate, Sugar Hill

3 out of 4 stars

“Last Vegas” is a fresh execution of an old story of friendship. Hope you don’t see yourself in any of the four characters in the movie, which stars an excellent cast of characters — Michael Douglas as Billy, Robert De Niro as Paddy, Kevin Kline as Sam and Morgan Freeman as Archie — going for a bachelor party in Las Vegas. You know you will have a good time when there is a full movie theater of people of all ages.

The smiling started cracking when the film starts dealing with the old-fartiness of the characters as they join the bully, played by Douglas, in Las Vegas. They all go to a Fremont Street old-style casino, only to find out nobody had reserved any rooms, but serendipity strikes when they all meet the “Back To the Future III” darling Mary Steenburgen as Diana the singer. The movie lacked the action of summer blockbusters but you could just feel the electricity of these four guys having fun, trying to enjoy Las Vegas for what is worth. That is pure movie entertainment. Worth at least a DVD and you have to watch it to find the meaning.

— Alfred Richner, Duluth