VACATION NOT WORTH LEAVING HOME FOR
WHILE taking its cues ( and halfheartedly lifting many of the same- ish gags) from Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon Vacation hits of the 1980s, this Vacation is no holiday for fans of the franchise.
Not so much a sequel as a reboot completely bereft of any kick whatsoever, Vacation sends a new iteration of the goofy Griswold family on yet another doomed cross- country odyssey to that cursed theme park Walley World.
En route, dimwit dad Rusty ( Ed Helms), his slightly with- it wife Debbie ( Christina Applegate) and their completely- without- it sons James ( Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin ( Steele Stebbins) stick to a collision course with every D- grade dirty joke in the book. While there are thin slivers of humour that pass muster if you’re either very forgiving or heavily medicated, these flukey laughs are far out- weighed by thick slabs of gormless groaners that can crush the will to live.
Then there’s the running jokes about a sweet little kid who swears like a dirty old man, Rusty being mistaken for a dirty old man, and icky stuff that would make dirty old men everywhere blush ( strange clumps of hair in bathtubs! random holes in toilet walls! Chris Hemsworth in a state of arousal you can see from the moon!).
If you think the sequence where the Griswolds take a family swim in a lagoon of raw sewage is the absolute low point, you are wrong.
Against all odds, a crap- tabulous last- act cameo from franchise figurehead Chevy Chase drills past the bottom of the barrel and heads for the earth’s core itself.