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Vacation

July 30, 2015 by Alison Bailes divider image

Positioned as a sequel, but playing more like a smuttier remake, “Vacation” succeeds on nostalgia and chutzpah points alone. It also has a fine Chevy Chase stand-in in the shape of Ed Helms (“The Office”) who channels Chase’s clueless, well-intentioned paterfamilias Clark Griswold. Helms isn’t playing Clark however, he’s playing his grown-up son Rusty who […]


Positioned as a sequel, but playing more like a smuttier remake, “Vacation” succeeds on nostalgia and chutzpah points alone. It also has a fine Chevy Chase stand-in in the shape of Ed Helms (“The Office”) who channels Chase’s clueless, well-intentioned paterfamilias Clark Griswold.

Helms isn’t playing Clark however, he’s playing his grown-up son Rusty who was portrayed as a teenage boy by Anthony Michael Hall in the 1983 original. So in that sense it is a true sequel, but so many of the scenes are carbon copies of the first Harold Ramis/John Hughes comedy that sometimes it feels as if the writer/directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein weren’t trying too hard to come up with anything new. Perhaps that doesn’t matter too much, as just the premise of this family road trip in the hands of a fine comedic cast is smirk-inducing.

It’s de rigueur these days to wink at one’s audience of course, and early on in “Vacation” Rusty, a married father of two, announces to his family that he wants to relive the vacation he took as a child to Walley World. “I’ve never heard of the old vacation”, says his son. “The new vacation will stand on its own”, replies Rusty, thereby encapsulating the hopes and dreams of the studio heads who greenlit this project. Continue reading here…


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