LAST VEGAS is what's commonly referred to as a "fish-out-of-water" comedy—a metaphor that in this scenario happens to function on a couple of levels. First, you've got the laborious plotline: Four suspiciously archetypical old men, each facing some unremarkable form of existential discontent, descend upon Las Vegas to celebrate the engagement of one old man to his comely child bride; all manner of doddering bewilderment naturally ensues. But there's also a less traditional application of the metaphor—wherein a company of aging, long-celebrated Hollywood actors (i.e., the fish) abandon what dignity remains of their respective careers (i.e., the water) for a gasping, floundering, and ultimately lifeless slog of a film.
When professional bachelor Billy (Michael Douglas) finally decides to get hitched to a woman half his age, his oldest friends (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and a surprisingly lifelike Kevin Kline) decide to throw him the ultimate sexagenarian bachelor party with all that Sin City has to offer: transvestites, creepy Cirque du Soleil performers, Turtle from Entourage, co-eds with daddy issues, and Mary Steenburgen. You know, the kind of stuff we'll all fantasize about in the dignified winter of our years—where after decades of hard-earned wisdom and perspective, we will have achieved a level of enlightenment and decorum such that the idea of getting shit-faced and ogling teenagers will still be our vision of worldly utopia.
I could make lame geriatric jokes about Last Vegas all day long (the script must have been written in large print; it must be hard to phone in a movie when your assistant has to teach you how to use an iPhone), but the truth is, I feel like I already did my duty by simply sitting through it. It's a film made for everyone and for no one—broad and pandering and objectiveless—and a perfect example of a movie whose net is cast so wide and so haphazardly so as to be equally unsatisfying to all audiences..