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Vacation (2015)

Updated on January 22, 2016
Stevennix2001 profile image

Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.


Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein

Writers: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Hughes

Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Charlie Day, Catherine Missal, Ron Livingston, Norman Reedus, Keegan-Michael Key, Regina Hall, Emyri Crutchfield, Alkoya Brunson

Synopsis: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to "Walley World" in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity

Stevennix2001's Rating:

6 / 10


- Acting was OK

- Well paced.

- Direction was decent

- Easter eggs to the previous films were interesting, and fun to watch.

- Humor was funny for the most part. Granted, it may be a bit too controversial for some to take in, but it's no worse than what you might see on an episode of "Family Guy."


- Story was very predictable

- Most of the characters are generic stereotypes

Let's be honest.  Chevy Chase and Beverly D"Angelo only agreed to this cameo because nobody else is hiring  them at the moment in any movies.  Just saying.
Let's be honest. Chevy Chase and Beverly D"Angelo only agreed to this cameo because nobody else is hiring them at the moment in any movies. Just saying.

We're the Griswolds.. you piece of.....A**!

You want to know what the original "National Lampoon's Vacation" was missing all these years? D*** jokes and gay slurs of course! That's what every comedy needs these days right? Unlike the previous films of the franchise, this new adventure follows Clark Griswold's son, Rusty (played by "Hangover" co star, Ed Helms), who's all grown up with a family of his own.

And like his father Clark, who was played by Chevy Chase, Rusty decides to take his family on a cross country road trip to Wally World. Let the high jinks and misfortune ensue, as this is going to be one bumpy ride. If you haven't seen any of the previous films thus far, then don't worry. The film is fairly self contained enough to where it stands on it's own, so you won't have to go back and rewatch all those old movies to catch up. However, if you did grow up watching them, then you'll be treated to various Easter eggs and references that should tickle your nostalgic senses.

Having said that this quasi reboot sequel any good? If by good you mean just being OK, then I'd have say "yes." On it's own, it's not a bad comedy. Sure, it's predictable as hell. The characters are generic and one dimensional. Some of the jokes are rip offs from the previous films, with subtle twists added onto them. Of course, you also have a plethora of shock humor based on controversial taboo subjects like pedophilia and gay innuendos. However, it's no worse than the type of humor you would find in a "Family Guy" episode, so you can take that for whatever it's worth.

However, if you were to compare this film to any of the previous movies of the franchise, then I'd have to say this new movie sucks by comparison. For starters, the original "Vacation" films didn't purely rely on shock value for it's comedy. It was a simple story about a guy named Clark that wanted to show his family a good time, during each of their vacation trips. It was a slice of life style comedy that would often exaggerate and poke fun of their experiences together. Clark may have been a bit of a dumbass at times, but he was still a normal "every man" at heart. Someone we could all relate to on some basic level. Apart from Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family, the characters in the previous films felt like actual people, and they weren't flanderized for the sake of comedic effect. And even though you knew exactly how the journey was going to end, you still had a great time with those old movies because they felt like real characters that you wanted to revisit over and over again.

Rusty on the other hand is portrayed as something of a whimsical dumbass that constantly does stupid s*** for the sake of doing stupid s***. Rusty's entire family while entertaining to watch never feel like characters you could genuinely relate to. Sure, there were moments that you could see where you could relate to them, but most of the characters were really nothing more than generic flanderized stereotypes. You had one son that was made out to be an uber feminine wuss. A little brother that seems to be a spawn from hell. In fact, you could argue that Christina Applegate's character was probably the only normal person in the entire freaking family. But, I digress.

Like I mentioned before, this new quasi sequel reboot isn't bad on it's own. If you're into generic d*** joke comedies, then it's certainly worth watching. However, if I'm forced to compare this to the original movies, then I'd have to say it pales in comparison to the original films.

However, it's a fairly decent comedy for what it is though. Is it anywhere near as bad as most film critics said it was last year? Certainly not. But if you're just looking for a halfway decent comedy to get a few cheap laughs, then I could certainly think of a lot worse than "Vacation."

© 2016 Steven Escareno


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      Peter 2 years ago from England, UK

      I loved this film. I haven't seen the National Lampoon original but I can guess that there were plenty of teasers.

      The dynamic between the two sons reminded me of myself and my brother. Absolutely hilarious and would love to see it again.

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      Gavin Heinz 2 years ago from Austin TX

      I really hated this film, the only things I liked were the humor. But I do accept you 6/10 rating.

      Signed, John Zoidberg