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Vegas, Baby

The party is dead on arrival in "Vegas, Baby," helmer-scripter Eric Bernt's dismal sex comedy that follows five bosom buddies flailing about Las Vegas in a dim attempt to keep themselves entertained. Mirthless parade of sex gags and Sin City stereotypes is aimed squarely at younger male auds, but DVD looks like this "Vegas'" best bet.

With:
With: Kal Penn, Jonathan Bennett, Donald Faison, Charlie Spiller, Aaron Himelstein, Vincent Pastore, Lin Shaye, Diane Klimaszewski, Graham Beckel, Elaine Klimaszewski, Jaime Pressly, Chuck Liddell.

The party is dead on arrival in “Vegas, Baby,” helmer-scripter Eric Bernt’s dismal sex comedy that follows five bosom buddies flailing about Las Vegas in a dim attempt to keep themselves, and viewers, entertained. Mirthless parade of sex gags and Sin City stereotypes is aimed squarely at younger male auds, but DVD looks like this “Vegas'” best bet. 

Following the sacred 10 commandments of bachelor party planning (which are read in fast, frenzied fashion at pic’s opening), the groom-to-be (Jonathan Bennett) and his four buddies (Kal Penn, Donald Faison, Charlie Spiller, Aaron Himelstein) board a plane for Vegas — though not until after one of the guys attempts to squeeze a giant blow-up doll through a metal detector.

That’s pretty much the comic apex of the oversexed script, which also includes frequent discussions about dildos, two unattractive but self-imposing strippers, a visit to a porn set, a limo full of overweight bachelorettes, and an overextended subplot featuring Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. (Insomnia Entertainment producers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta also own the Ultimate Fighting Championship.)

The guys quickly realize they’ve been set up by their planner (Vincent Pastore), a beefy Italian who turns out to be a professional casino thief. Next, the buddies get mugged by a female Elvis impersonator (Kathy Griffin in a brief, bewildering appearance).

A worse bachelor party, onscreen or off, could hardly be imagined. All is explained by the end, in a development that will remind some viewers of “The Game,” though David Fincher would cringe at the comparison.

Cast includes familiar and appealing faces, particularly Bennett (“Mean Girls”) and Penn (“Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”), but the cast lacks chemistry and too many scenes seem badly improvised. Vegas itself has rarely looked worse, thanks to overall lackluster tech package and Robert Primes’ dingy cinematography.

Vegas, Baby

Production: An Insomnia Entertainment presentation of a Trent Othick production. Produced by Othick. Executive producers, Tim Poster, Bruce Wayne Gillies, John Gaughan, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Tom Breitling. Directed, written by Eric Bernt.

Crew: Camera (color), Robert Primes; editor, David Finfer; music, Skeem; production designer, Max Biscoe; set decorator, Anuradha Mehta; costume designer, Oneita Parker; sound (Dolby Digital), Steve Morantz; supervising sound editor, Jake Eberle; stunt coordinators, Chris Doyle; Keith C.A. Jones; associate producer, Karen Meisels; casting, Meisels. Reviewed at CineVegas Film Festival, Las Vegas, June 17, 2005. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Kal Penn, Jonathan Bennett, Donald Faison, Charlie Spiller, Aaron Himelstein, Vincent Pastore, Lin Shaye, Diane Klimaszewski, Graham Beckel, Elaine Klimaszewski, Jaime Pressly, Chuck Liddell.

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