Vacation Review

  • Directing7.5
  • Writing7.5
  • Acting8

John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein's Vacation reboot is almost too over-the-top, yet you can't help but to smile. It's silly and dumb, but totally mind-numbingly entertaining. Ed Helms leads an energetic cast with that same good spirit that Chevy Chase had in the original series.


Ed Helms continues the Griswold family tradition in John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein‘s Vacation reboot, which also stars Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth. Vacation isn’t a perfect film by any means, but it holds up well enough when compared to the Chevy Chase classic. This version is much more R-rated and over-the-top, which mostly proves to be a good thing for those looking for something a little stupid, but very entertaining.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) is all grown up and now he wants to take his wife (Christina Applegate) and kids to Walley World, which is were his father (Chevy Chase) took Rusty and his sister (played briefly by Leslie Mann) back when they were kids.

Directors John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein make it very clear that this Vacation stands on its own, when they literally have Ed Helms speak those lines and remind his family that this is a whole new Vacation, filled with references to the original film, while also kicking things up another notch on just about every single level.

Some people may have forgotten that the original Vacation film was even rated R, especially with each sequel seeming to get tamer and tamer. But this Vacation is different — wearing its R-rated badge loud and proud with lots of honor.

Francis Daley & M. Goldstein fill this one to the very limit with R-rated humor that can be described as stupid and raunchy and sometimes even offensive, but it’s a complete riot from start-to-finish because of just how insane the script is and how far they’re willing to go as filmmakers.

They helped write both Horrible Bosses films, which I personally thought weren’t dark enough, but fortunately enough this Vacation reboot delivers where it counts. It’s not nearly as mean-spirited or empty, instead surrounding itself with characters that are definitely morons, but at least likable ones that you can sometimes sympathize.

Ed Helms‘ Rusty Griswold is without a doubt a dumber and outlandish version of Chevy Chase‘s original character, but he still has a moral compass that sometimes makes sense if you try to comprehend his thought process and his wife (played with a reserved lack of interest by Christina Applegate) tries her hardest too.

Occasionally, Vacation lands a first joke that absolutely works, causing you to erupt in laughter, but then it’s followed with a second joke that kind of pushes the good graces of that first joke. It’s like the directors didn’t realize that what they already had worked and worked well, so they try to make that point come across again in a forceful manner.

And that’s really the only sin that Vacation commits as far as comedy is considered. Everything else moves at a fast pace and makes very little sense if you stop to think about it — which is the Griswold way after all.

Most of the time Vacation gets by on its light humor that keeps pushing towards the insane and trust me when I say that the film has its moments of complete insanity.

Vacation is far from a deep and meaningful film, but that’s alright because it’s a really funny one. It’s that rare R-rated summer comedy that doesn’t need to get too edgy or mean-spirited and it instead succeeds in being something bizarre and yet still a good time.

Comparing it to the original might leave you disappointed, because Ed Helms is no Chevy Chase, but this Vacation definitely stands on its own and achieves what it set out to be from the very beginning. It’s a soft reboot that takes place in the same world as the original film only it’s been modernized for today’s audience with the appropriate level of R-rated humor.

Sometimes Vacation is cleverer than it has any right to be and sometimes it’s completely stupid, but I guarantee that you’ll never stop laughing if you’re into this sort of thing.

Watch the trailer for yourself and decide if you’re ready or not to embrace the silly and have some fun, because Vacation is loaded with all kinds of over-the-top R-rated humor that is bound to earn a chuckle or two from you eventually, unless you absolutely hate everything in the world, including Chris Hemsworth — who happens to give one of the funniest roles of his career in cameo form. Seriously, it’s big!

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