Screenwriter William Goldman might have said that in Hollywood, “nobody knows anything”, but they do know this: an increasing amount of oldies are going to cinemas (a 68 per cent rise between 1995 and 2010), and they don’t necessarily want to watch the latest 3D spectacle.
So, shuffling in the footsteps of such ‘grey pound’ extravaganzas as the Expendables and RED movies, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady , comes an old-aged riff on the Hangover series starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline as a wrinkled wolf pack.
And surprisingly, it’s nowhere near as feeble as you might expect.
Getting married to a woman half his age, Billy (Douglas) rounds up childhood pals Archie (Freeman), Sam (Kline) and Paddy (De Niro) to hit the Strip and party like it’s 1959.
Running – or rather walking – gags include a frequent need to pause the festivities to take their pills, dusting off Jurassic chat-up lines and being mistaken for Mafia dons as De Niro again lampoons/milks his past.
Meanwhile, an unresolved conflict between Billy and Paddy is the only thing to raise its head without recourse to Viagra.
What could easily have induced more winces than grandpa climbing out of a La-Z-Boy instead merits consistent chuckles thanks to the stars’ easy chemistry, Mary Steenburgen’s lovely turn as a lounge singer who’s a woman to our leads’ boys, and an unexpected amount of heart.
Most crucial of all, though, is the script’s eagerness to undercut any and all male posturing – thereby allowing us to watch the guys hit on women young enough to be their granddaughters without reaching for the sick bucket.
In fact, by the time they’ve finally grown up while simultaneously locating a newfound zest for life, we might even be ready for a sequel: Last Last Vegas , anyone?
What sounds like a hangover of The Hangover is actually pretty money. Morgan Freeman even smiles as our OAP stars hit Vegas, baby, and just about maintain their puff to the end credits.