Opening August 20, 2015
Directed by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
Writing credits: Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, John Hughes
Principal actors: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins
Vacation is the sequel to the hilarious 1983 National Lampoon Vacation, which starred the very talented Chevy Chase. The 2015 version of Vacation follows the same theme: his now grown-up son, Rusty Griswold (Helmes), married with children, wants to take his family to Wally World to re-live the magic of the legendary family road trip of yesteryear.
The nostalgic opening photo-montage is a witty salute to the original 1983 film. Viewers can grin with delight while watching dated family vacation photos meshed with the original theme music. Sit back, relax, this promises to be an upbeat amusingly entertaining flick………. Wrong!
Rusty Griswold, Debbie Griswold (Applegate), the kids James Griswold (Gisondo) and Kevin Griswold (Stebbins) create a family ensemble that shrieks modern day dysfunction. Baby brother, Kevin, is always on his phone or iPad and when the punk is disturbed the behavior is out-of-control with low-level scum language spewing from his mouth. Older brother is a modern-day geek with an elevated social conscience, a problem solver who wins our empathy. Mom Griswald is left wondering, “Is this all there is to life?” while maintaining the assigned role of family peacekeeper. Good old Rusty, Mr. Oblivious, just keeps serving out knuckle-headed jokes and enthusiastic encouragement while keeping his eye on the end goal - getting the family to Wally World.
Each one of these talented actors (especially the two boys) could really have used some help, starting with a better script. The countless poo, puke and vagina references get old and offensive fast. These Hollywood filmmakers think the only way for us to be lured into movie theaters to enjoy a comedy is to unleash a torrent of teenage boy centric toilet humor. ( )