Vacation (2015)

vacationThere are remakes and sequels and sometimes films that are both, this is a film that falls in the last category…

Rusty Griswold is back but this time he’s all grown up with a family of his own. Just as obsessed as his father in the original film, Rusty decides to take his wife and kids on the same trip to Wallyworld that he had to endure as a child. Hijinks ensue as said family treks across the country to fulfill their dad’s dream of vacation glory that was lost the first time ‘round with Clark at the steering wheel…

If you’re looking for something original here, you’ll want to look elsewhere; judging the premise and the poster, you’ve probably already figured that out. That’s ok though, this kind of film isn’t meant to surprise, it’s there to entertain. Unfortunately the film’s entertainment value isn’t great. This version plays out just like the original where Rusty and family drive across the country towards the promised land of Wallyworld with many obstacles thrown in their path along the way. The gags are hit and miss with some LOL moments but mostly not. The film feels and comes off much as a retread of the original rather than blazing any trail of its own.

The movie has some talented actors involved, most notably Christina Applegate and Ed Helms. Applegate is great, she’s funny, quick and enjoyable on screen. Helms comes off annoying unfortunately and kind of a dick so there isn’t much sympathy there where Chevy Chase in the original role managed to balance a smarminess with a sense of being pathetic that made him much more endearing. The real standout though is Chris Hemsworth who comes off hilariously in his bit role which you have to see for yourself as I can’t do it justice here. The lineup is rounded out by Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day, Ron Livingston, Regina Hall, Ron Livingston, Keegan-Michael Key and Norman Reedus. It’s a jam-packed roster to be sure, but it doesn’t help the film enough to pull it out of the mediocre mire it lands in.

I wouldn’t go out of your way to see this one, but you might want to check it out if there’s nothing else on. Ultimately, I would suggest to just watch the original and Christmas Vacation; those two should satisfy all the vacation you’ll really need…

reviewed by Sean McKnight