Viewed – 05 March 2015 Netflix
I like how Hollywood occasionally dusts off some of our older veteran actors and throws them together in one movie. When it works it can work well (Bucket List, The Heist) and when it doesn’t it can be uncomfortable (The Expendables). Thankfully this is the former. Marketed as kind of a senior citizen version of The Hangover we have Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as life long friends who come together to go on Michael Douglas’s bachelor party in Vegas. You see much like Douglas in real life, he has a young girlfriend who he plans on marrying, but at the same time there’s some unresolved issues between him and DeNiro that a weekend together may just bring up again.
This is enjoyable stuff. It has some good observations of getting older, life and love and is actually rather heart-warming. It sensibly avoids the toilet humour adult comedy of the aforementioned Hangover, and as these guys are a bit fish out of water, they naturally look awkward attending clubs and chatting up the scantily clad girls…but then that’s kind of the point. This does have some good jokes (most at Douglas’ expense) and several great sight gags, and works best when the four seasoned actors are sparring off against each other. Mary Steenburgen appears as a love interest and helps this movie develop a bit more meaning and depth than it might have. Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) has played his cards well, and treats the actors with respect whilst still poking a little fun at the situation. DeNiro is especially good as the grumpier of the foursome yet each actor gets a moment in the spotlight and goes on a bit of a journey.
It’s predictable in places and rather cringy at times, but never out stays it’s welcome. I’d have swapped the casting of Kline for someone on the same level as the others (sorry) … yet overall, this still worked very well.
Verdict: 3.5 /5