Vacation – Review

Last night, I saw the remake/sequel of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

That first part of the title was dropped for this film. It’s simply known as “Vacation,” and it’s not that bad. Sure, it’s not exactly great, either, but I laughed. Hell, it got more of a response from me than “The Hangover 2” did.

That’s how I measure Ed Helms movies, by the way. If it gets anywhere near “Hangover 2” quality, then I bail out. ASAP. I’m not trying to put myself through that again. It’s such a lazy movie. Oh, let’s repeat the exact same movie, but give it a different location – that won’t make people hate us! I’ve never been as disappointed as I was when I saw that movie.

NOTE: The following is a red band trailer.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about “Hangover Deuce: Hangover Harder.” We’re here to get into “Vacation,” starring the previously mentioned Ed Helms, as well as Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day (playing what may be the funniest role in the film), and many others. And for those die-hard fans wondering – yes, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are back as Clark and Ellen Griswold (for all of about 5 minutes).

I like what they did with this. It was originally supposed to be a remake, but they went in a clever direction. Instead of taking over Chevy Chase’s role, Ed Helms plays the son, Rusty Griswold, who finds himself disconnected from his family. His solution: take them on the same trip that he was forced to go through as a kid. The idea being that the original trip to Wally World (as seen in the original film) was when the Griswold family really connected.

So, why it couldn’t it work a second time?

It worked for me, I’ll tell you that. There are rough moments. For instance, Rusty Griswold is tricked into taking his family to a raw sewage dump. They’re under the assumption that it’s a hot spring, where they can bathe in skin rejuvenating mud, and all that good stuff. It’s an excuse to watch them all rub dookie all over their faces, and it’s more gross than funny.

On another note: most reviews have specifically pointed out Chris Hemsworth and Leslie Mann as the best parts of the film. As I intimated before, I think that belongs to Charlie Day. He plays a whitewater rafting guide, who is dumped by his fiance, moments before going out on a raft with the Griswold’s. The scene that follows is hilarious.

Hemsworth and Mann are hilarious, though. I can’t deny that. Ed Helms and Christina Applegate get some laughs, too. Oh, and I can’t forget the kids. Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins play Rusty and Debbie’s sons, who are always fighting. However, instead of the older one picking on the younger one, they flip it, and have the younger one act like a dick. It gets easy laughs, every time, but there’s a reason – it’s funny.

(Courtesy of
(Courtesy of


“Vacation” isn’t amazing, but it was a funny movie. I didn’t hate myself for watching it, like I did with “Hangover 2.” All in all, if you’re looking for something to make you laugh, and help pass the time, then I suggest you pick this up when it comes out on DVD, on November 3rd, 2015. Unless you’re one of those people who “doesn’t watch bad movies.”

If that’s the case, then you should go and sniff your own farts.



FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Hopper Stone – © 2014 – Warner Bros.

Walter Winchester