Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Vacation (2015) review
Some things in life just can't be replicated, as proven by the lackluster, Vacation. The movie fails at all of the standards Chevy Chase and his original crew set back in the glory days. The jokes are more generic, crude, and unfunny with little cleverness to them compared to what could've been. However, the movie didn't completely miss its mark, with a few one-liners, cameos, and perfromances that prevented it from downright sinking.
PLOT: Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) is all grown up with a wife named Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two children. One day, due to the apparent family's falling apart, Rusty decides to take his family on the age-old trip to Wally World, though no one really wants to go. Regardless, the family packs up in a foreign rent-a-car and begins the worst yet most eventful road trip they'll ever have. Along the way, the family comes runs into many obstacles including old sorority games, a "hot spring", and an intimidating trucker tracking them the whole way as well as many other comedic misfortunes. Through this road trip, Rusty helps to restore the family's happiness as well as his dying love life with his wife. The plot is the same as the fist National Lampoon's Vacation but executed with a less creative and less clever way. The twists and turns are just as crazy, but not nearly as funny or original in comparison with most raunchy comedies of the modern age.
ACTING: The performances at heart weren't too bad. The lousy writing is what made them seem sour. Ed Helms actually does a pretty great job as Rusty Griswold, giving it his all to channel his inner Clark Griswold. Helms tries but is let down by a bad screenplay. Same goes for most of the actors. However, one additional aspect that helped save the movie was the brief cameo appearances by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprising their classic roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold. They didn't completely save the movie, but they made it a little less low quality.
SCORE/SOUNDTRACK: There's nothing too special about the score or the soundtrack, which consists mostly of pop and rap songs with a few different covers of the National Lampoon's Vacation, "Holiday Road."
OTHER CONTENT: This movie was just a cheap attempt at re-capturing and re-vamping movie magic of the past. The Vacation movies were great in their time, instilling clever laughs into each themed vacation. This addition is the exception, as expressed even by the intentional fourth wall break near the beginning. This movie is supposed to be treated as its own entity, and that's what made it truly fail. Everyone goes in expecting a new Vacation adventure but instead gets another raunchy comedy with gross humor and more mature jokes. The movie does have its occasional one-liners that inspire a chuckle or two, but for the most part, the movie is a crude and generic mess trying to take the place of something more clever. It's not bringing honor to the franchise, just changes that no true fan wanted. It's all hit-or-miss at best.
The new Vacation is anything but a break from the norm. The jokes are adapted to a more modern audience and the majority fail due to over-raunchiness and bad screenplay writing. The movie tries to retain its name by replacing old traditions with new events but fails to do anything but sink into the predictable field of modern comedy. So much acting and story potential is just squandered, as way more could have been done. I guess some people just don't get the point when told to leave something like this alone. Its time is now clearly passed.