Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

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.

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