The promise of fun turns into one misadventure after another for the next generation of Griswold’s.
Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, keep it simple and entertaining in the sequel to 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation. The film centres around the Griswold family, albeit this time it is Rusty (Ed Helms), Clark’s son, who is taking his own family on the road trip of his dreams. But of course as comedic, road trip films go the cross country excursion soon begins to go wrong, with one misfortune after another.
Certainly the film tries to focus on the theme of family bonding; a Father who is frustrated that his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) are seemingly pulling away from him, something that taking the familiar holiday to the cabin won’t fix, therefore he comes up with the idea to recreate the trip he took to Walley World with his own family and not all too surprisingly the family are reluctant to go. It’s hard to talk about the film without giving spoilers however for the first few minutes the film is predictable, like any comedy the audience can guess what will happen based on a certain scenario, and with this type of comedy you are guaranteed that things will go wrong, but there are times when you don’t exactly know what is going to go wrong.
Helms and Applegate have a strong chemistry throughout the film, one would almost believe that they were a married couple who were having problems. The dynamic between the two sons, Kevin and James, has cleverly been reversed and is an interesting take on a sibling rivalry. Despite the criticism the film has faced, I believe that the cameos, both known and unknown, have helped the film sustain credibility. Chris Hemsworth’s cameo as Stone Crandall, the good looking and successful brother-in-law of Rusty’s, was unexpected and different to his previous roles but still refreshing in seeing him challenge himself with a comedic role. Again, without giving spoilers, there were cameos in the film that were surprising and unexpected.
All in all, despite the negative reviews it has received I thoroughly enjoyed Vacation, it may be a stereotypical road trip comedy but it is an amusing one at that.
Rating – 70%
Director – John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein
Cast – Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins
Genre – Comedy, Adventure
Running Time – 99 minutes