- RatedM18 /GenreComedy
Family trips, like the new ‘Vacation’ movie, are only worth revisiting if you have the time and money to spare.
Perhaps that was the main idea for this reboot-slash-sequel of the 1983 ‘National Lampoon’ classic: “Hey, let’s remake this really funny comedy classic for modern audiences, and here’s US$31 million.”
In this ‘Vacation’, we catch up with a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) as he takes his wife and two sons on a cross-country adventure to what may be a bad imitation of Disneyland, Walley World.
Of course, a series of unfortunate (and hilarious) events happen along the way: from a rental car mishap, and some really bad sightseeing detours to the horrors of visiting to bad parental advice and first loves – all the hallmarks of a family vacation.
While there are some inspired comedic performances from the cast: from Ed Helms’ straight-laced Rusty, his wife Christina Applegate’s Debbie, and the two sons soft-spoken teenager James (Skyler Gisondo) and bully younger brother Kevin (Steele Stebbins) to a scene-stealing Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth as hot Texas meteorologist and brother-in-law Stone Crandall.
The gags funny as they may be, just feels like items of a to-do list. Bad rental car joke. Check. GPS joke. Check. Genital joke. Check. Sex joke. Check, and so on.
Writer/directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein story and directing just couldn’t match the charm and family-themed substance that John Hughes and Harold Ramis brought to the original ‘Vacation’.
There is no doubt directors Daley and Goldstein intended this reboot to be to be an homage of sorts, but the result is just clumsy.
Look out for cameos from the likes of Charlie Day (‘Horrible Bosses’), Keegan-Michael Key (‘Key & Peele’), Michael Pena (‘Ant-Man’) and a ‘Walking Dead’ star.
One of the hilarious gags – besides the one with a hot spring of human excrement – is the one involving four police officers from four different states.
And when the Griswolds finally reach Walley World, their ride on the roller-coaster— which leaves them suspended upside down for hours — is a metaphor of sorts, leaving you hanging in the air, waiting for a joke to happen.