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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Vacation

August 19th, 2015 by Big Phil Comments


Vacation (15)
Directed by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate & Skyler Gisondo
Running time: 99 mins

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.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms), son of the famous one man disaster Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), is married with two young boys and decides to take his family to Walley World. This family trip will not only test the family’s love for each other, but perhaps their very sanity!

History repeats itself, or so they say, and that is certainly the case for Vacation. The story is a virtual carbon copy of the original National Lampoon’s Vacation which made Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo household names as Clark and Ellen Griswold.

This time, the family is all set for a new generation of antics and mayhem. Rusty, his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate), older son James (Skyler Gisando) and younger son Kevin (Steele Stebbins) are aboard a nightmare of a vehicle for a long road trip. The young cast gel quite well on screen for the film’s 90min running time, they don’t grate or seem awkward together, which is refreshing in it’s own right.

The script is the highlight of this movie. The humour is one laugh out loud set piece after another. Granted, the audience may be able to forshadow some jokes, but others are perfectly timed either by a well placed word or two, or by slapstick comedic means. Like most modern comedies though, the jokes are mostly of either a sexual (and in some case a VERY visually sexual piece) or by the young son Kevin spurting out a mouthful of obscenities.  This kind of humour appeals to the audience and to the type of film made and thankfully there are enough laughs throughout that Vacation can be firmly classed as a reasonably successful follow-up.

There are also a number of cameos in the movie too, and without spoiling it too much, there is also a scene or two with Clark and Ellen.  Cameos aside, Vacation is not only a stand alone movie, but it does have homages to the original Vacation movies. There is the theme song, Holiday Road, which was used in the previous movies and there are also photographs too of the Griswold family taken from the various movies and differing incarnations.

All in all, this is a remake and sequel and, in fairness, it doesn’t disappoint. If you liked the original movies, the zany antics of the Griswold family, chances are you will love this. For a whole new generation of fans, The Griswolds are back, and here’s hoping their next vacation will be Europe!

4 out of 5 Nerds


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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!