ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

A stupid script and an even stupider sense of humor destroys most of the potential fun of this movie.

1. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, I am so sorry. You didn't deserve this.

2. This is considered to be the fifth movie in the official Vacation film series. But it's really just a bone-headed attempt to recreate the original 1983 classic National Lampoon's Vacation. You know how when you have leftovers, and you microwave them, but they're not nearly as good as the original meal? That's what this movie is - reheated leftovers that have been desperately microwaved for too long.

3. The story is about Rusty Griswold, the son in the original films. He's grown up, with two sons of his own. In an attempt at kindling some family bonding, he convinces his family to recreate his own childhood road trip to Walley World. On the way, they encounter some wacky adventures. You know the drill.

4. The acting isn't the problem. It's got a charismatic and charming cast.

The problem is in the script and the directing, which were both done by writing partners Johnathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who wrote Horrible Bosses together. Putting two directors in charge of the same movie usually doesn't work, because they end up having different ideas of where the movie should go.

I think that's part of what happened here - the movie feels like a tug-of-war between two different types of humor. So it just sits there, failing at most of it.

5. The only really funny thing about the movie was the youngest son, Kevin, a cute boy with a foul mouth that constantly abuses his older brother. He got some actual laughs out of me. Keep an eye out for this kid, Steele Stebbins.

6. There are some pedophile jokes, some penis jokes, some poop jokes, and some vomit jokes. So it's got that going for it.

7. Ed Helms (from the Hangover movies) plays Rusty. Helms tries to recreate the goofy dumbness of the original father, Clark. But the performance is an epic fail, especially when compared to the cameo by Chevy Chase. Chase has about five minutes on screen, but those five minutes are better than anything Helms comes up with. You should have known better, Ed.

8. There's a scene early in the film where Rusty is envious of his friend's relationship with his son. So Rusty copies the friend's behavior with his own son, and even steal's the other kid's nickname. It makes Rusty look pathetic, which was the point.

But the movie itself did the exact same thing, copying another movie and stealing the name. And we end up with the same pathetic results.

9. The movie celebrates the fact that it's copying the original film. I guess that was an attempt to infuse the movie with some nostalgia. But the only effect it had was to make me want to turn this movie off and watch the original again.

What did you think? Was it a good addition to the series? Add some points below!


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