WRITTEN BY: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
DIRECTED BY: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
STARRING: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins
RATING: 3.5 stars
Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) has grown up since the original National Lampoon's Vacation and is now married to Debbie (Christina Applegate), with whom he has two sons, James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins). Rusty decides to go on a road trip with his family, dragging them along to Walley World in an Albanian rental car full of bizarre gadgets. Along the way, they endure several mishaps including a scary truck driver, a not so hot hot spring experience and a revealing visit to Debbie's former sorority.
Although it has been more than 30 years since the original Vacation film, this reboot/sequel pays homage to the previous films while also making it relevant for today's more popular raunchy and dirty sense of humour. Vacation is definitely not family friendly, but everyone who watched the other films as a child has grown up now and will find a lot of adult laughs in this new instalment. The leads have good chemistry and Stebbins is especially hilarious as the foul-mouthed younger sibling who bullies his older brother. Much has already been talked about in the media of Chris Hemsworth's “package” in the film, but it is disappointing that he and Leslie Mann feature in only a few brief scenes as Rusty's brother-in-law and sister. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo also make a nostalgic brief appearance. Ultimately, Vacation manages to balance some lewd humour with a sweet message about the importance of family.