Vacation (2015) – Film Review


The Modern Griswald Family Picture:

The latest comedy to come out this summer, is Vacation, a kind-of reboot of the old Vacation films starring Chevy Chase. A standard family road trip story with discontent children and the married couple that are seemingly growing apart. There’s no new innovations in the plotlines department, but that isn’t what we look for in a comedy of this kind. Ed Helms leads as nerdy and distant father Rusty Griswold, a father looking to take his family on his favourite vacation from his childhood, a road trip to Walley World. Along with his wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins), Rusty must navigate across America whilst trying to keep his family on side with his plans.

If you are bored of the standard comedy road-trip procedure then you may avoid this film, but for some reason Vacation felt a little different than the regular cliches. I think the key is that it kept moving, the story rarely stayed in one place for too long, so if a joke or gag didn’t really hit the mark it could quickly be ushered on and the thought of it replaced by something else. Although not many scenes disappointed, they could have cut out the youngest’s swearing habits, as that is never that funny, but on the whole most of the comedy was on point. It really appeals to my humour seeing unsuspecting characters washing in sewage, or finding a dogging site, it’s possibly the lowest form of comedy but it was done very well. Ed Helms hasn’t been in enough flops (that I’ve seen anyway) to make him annoying so it kind of pays off. I appreciated that the warm-loving family reconciliation aspect didn’t come up too much, it was of course part of the film but it was exaggerated or too important either.

One of the surprising aspects of this film has to be the large amount of recognisable cast. They managed to call back in Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo for a few scenes which was quite impressive as it did ground this film within the larger story of the previous Vacations. But as well as the recycled comedian actors and actresses (Christina Applegate and Leslie Mann to name a few) they did somehow manage to get Chris Hemsworth in there. I’m sure many will have seen his main scene from the trailer but he was very good as the annoyingly impressive brother-in-law, and shows he has a good sense of humour to be involved.

Overall, a definite recommendation for me. Don’t expect anything too new or innovative, just expect a light and easy comedy with plenty of laughs and giggles throughout. I’m not sure how it compares to the older films, but it certainly hasn’t shamed it by being an unfunny flop.

A very respectable:


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