Sky Movies Vacation Review

‘You want to re-do the original vacation? Isn’t that going to be a let-down?’

Debbie Griswold asks the question on everybody’s lips. When you take a successful franchise like National Lampoon and attempt a sequel, the stakes are high.

But from the start it is clear: this film is a continuation, not a re-make. We re-join the Griswold family a generation on – Clark and Ellen now run a guest house in San Francisco, and the kids are all grown up with kids of their own.

Rusty (Ed Helms) is a short-haul pilot living the suburban dream with his ex-sorority wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two kids James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins).

The kids fight like cat and dog, Debbie could do with some excitement in her life and Rusty’s career highlight is an 18 minute daily flight across the state with a geriatric co-pilot.

It’s time for a holiday. But unlike every other year in Griswold family history, Rusty has a surprise. Why go to the same cabin in Cheboygan (or Cheboring as Debbie and kids have re-named it) when you can hire a Albanian minivan (the curiously named Tartan Prancer) and take your family to Walley World?

There are a host of cameos (including swimwear model Hannah Davis in a scene throwing back to the original), and an en route visit to Rusty’s sister Audrey (Leslie Mann) and impossibly handsome brother in law Stone (Chris Hemsworth), giving occasion for misadventure and some carry-on style bedroom antics (Hemsworth’s six-pack makes an appearance).

Unsurprisingly, the holiday doesn’t go to plan. In fact, an alternative title for the film could have been A Series of Unfortunate Events Occurring Across America, with the Griswold’s encountering disasters at The Grand Canyon, some dubious hot springs, a Texan ranch, the Four Corners landmark and of course Walley World.

Just as the ever optimistic Rusty is about to throw in the towel, we are treated to a stop-over with the grandparents of Vacation – Chevy Chase and Beverley D’Angelo. When the Clark’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster is wheeled out (built by actual fans of the original film) the circle of comedy life is complete.

With his holiday spirit re-invigorated, Rusty is ready to complete the task he has dragged his family half way across America to achieve. The Griswold’s will go to Walley World.

Here we discover that while things may not always work out for the good guys, a family that fights together stays together. And there’s even some time for some impromptu singing too.

No better than the original and no worse (allowing for the rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia) this is an X-rated film with plenty of references for the Y-Generation who have never even seen the original.

Inevitably sequels will follow. But be warned, after watching you will never listen to Seal’s 90s pop hit Kiss From a Rose in the same way again…


Popular Posts