The first installment of the highly successful National Lampoons Vacation series hit our screens over thirty years ago in 1983. Vacation is part reboot, part retelling and part continuation of the series. I suspect many people will roll their eyes, mutter ‘reboot’ and expect it to be rubbish. Being a fan of the original series I didn’t exactly have high hopes for it myself; so with a semi closed mind I took my seat, sat back and waited to roll my own eyes.
I didn’t ! In fact I laughed out loud. No I laughed out loud a lot. As did the majority of the people around me. Vacation is not about re-imagining comedy. It’s taking a tried and trusted formula which has worked well, given it a new face (new actors) and rolled it back out for all to see. What’s more it works quite well.
Ed Helms plays the grown up Rusty Griswold. Like his father before him (Chevy Chase) he has his misguided sights set on a trip to Walley World. Christina Applegate plays his wife Debbie who dreams of trips to Paris, alas its not to be. Along with their two sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) they hit the road for some fun family bonding. As with all family road trips nothing goes according to plan and many a misadventure ensues.
Vacation does not in any way take itself serious and there’s a delightfully tongue and cheek scene at the start of the road trip where Rusty talks about this Vacation being able to stand on its own and it shouldn’t really be compared to any other vacations. Surprisingly enough the movie covers quite a number of family issues. The lull in Rusty and Debbie’s relationship, the two brothers bonding, James almost getting his first ‘rim job’ (you will need to see the movie to understand that) and the family dynamics between Rusty and his sister Audrey (Leslie Mann).
We also get to see Aussie superstar Chris Hemsworth turn his hand quite successfully at comedy. He plays Stone Crandall the tall and blonde Adonis husband of Audrey who Debbie swoons over. Watch out for the hilarious scene where this Aussie gives the audience quite a view from down under.
Vacation is the directorial debut from Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley who have also written the script (also Horrible Bosses 2). It good family fun but with quite a few adult orientated jokes thrown in. Its in cinemas now and I’m giving it 3 out of 5 purely because it made my belly shake. Check out the trailer below.