ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

Ed Helms (The Hangover) stars as Rusty Griswold as he takes his family on the same vacation he went on with his family when he was younger; to the theme park Walley World.

The 2015 version of Vacation is a sequel to the 1983 original starring Chevy Chase, it follows a lot of the same beats, but fails to ever reach the charm or humor of its predecessor. I don't treasure the original Vacation like a lot of people do, but I recognize the film's merit (I'm more partial to Christmas Vacation), the 2015 sequel is a dull, poorly strung together and tedious follow up.

Rusty, the now fully grown son of Clark Griswold is no longer feeling the love between his family, there's an obvious separation between them all and he feels that by locking them in a car and driving cross country, they'll all bond and return a happier bunch. But along the journey to Walley World, a slew of unfortunate events occur and make this is a trip they'll never forget.

I'm a fan of Ed Helms, I think he's a talented actor and he leads the film well, but everything surrounding him is an absolute mess. None of the characters are likable, the humor misses more often than it hits and I couldn't have cared less about the story. This is a terribly written film which makes me VERY worried for the Spider-Man film as the writers of this film (Jon M. Goldstein & John F. Daley) have just been hired to write that upcoming reboot for Sony. As well as writing the script, Goldstein and Daley directed the film, and sadly, their efforts behind the camera are pretty poor as well. There's a similar structure to the original film, jumping from comedy set piece to set piece, but the difference was in the original, the characters were likable and the gags weren't as crude or excessive.

Admittedly, I did laugh a couple of times, but I liken my laughter at some of the gags the way you laugh at a puppy repeatedly slamming its head against a pane of see through glass, it's adorable watching the little thing tire itself out and you laugh with pity. I was sat in a relatively empty auditorium and some laughs could be heard but whenever the film tried....and I mean REALLY tried to rake in some laughs, the room was filled with silence. The comedy is so obvious here, I could almost predict what characters would say before they even opened their mouths which made the entire film infuriatingly tedious.

Chevy Chase, the star of the original Vacation franchise makes a brief appearance at the end of the film and even he couldn't salvage any laughs, he fumbles around the set desperately trying to please the audience, but unsurprisingly fails. I must have checked my watch 4 or so times, and that's a very bad sign in a 100 minute movie, the film fumbles from scene to scene with no sense of pace or progression.

I never bought Ed Helms, Christina Applegate (Anchorman) and their two young co-stars as the Griswolds, they just felt like a random group of morons forced to live with each other, there's a lack of a family dynamic. The two young siblings despise each other for no explained reason other than that the youngest Griswold is an unapologetic asshole who seemingly genuinely wants to murder his irritatingly oblivious older brother, and it wasn't funny, in fact it was more disturbing. The film is confusingly contradicting with its approach towards its characters. It's incredibly mean spirited towards them yet wants you to like them, I was never sure whether we're supposed to laugh with or at the Griswolds.

This film is a complete waste of time and one of the lesser comedies of 2015, I highly recommend missing this one.

Did you see Vacation? If so, let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97


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