Don't set expectations too high for troubled sequels and reboots of popular movie franchises. It's simple advice that I did not follow for the new Vacation film, both a reboot and a sequel of the Chevy Chase-vehicle that was so popular in the '80s and '90s. Chase's Clark Griswold returns, but the thrust of this film follows son Rusty Griswold, played by Ed Helms, as he tries to recreate the original family vacation of his childhood.
Rusty is joined by his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two sons. The original film was known for the smaller roles that allowed character actors to flex their comedy muscles. Charlie Day and Chris Hemsworth appear in the trailer, and according to IMDB, Leslie Mann, Keegan-Michael Key, and Nick Kroll appear in the film.
The trouble is the film doesn't feel anything like the John Hughes classics. It plays like an abandoned Farrelly Brothers comedy:
- The family swims in sewage!
- The kids say bad words!
- Thor has a huge... hammer!
Here's what I can't figure out: where's the National Lampoon's part of the title? Did the studio figure it's been sullied by all those trashy direct-to-video releases? I must remain optimistic. Maybe it's just a bad trailer? Bad trailers lead to good movies all the time, right?