Movie Review: VACATION (2015) – Ed Helms – Bottom of the Barrel Road-Trip Film
Vacation is the totally unnecessary reboot of ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’, and the last attempt to benefit off the name of a dead movie franchise. It is yet another Road-Trip Comedy as expected, but this time around it is really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of original road-trip humour. The film follows the same formula as pretty much every other dumb road-trip film in existence and offers nothing new at all in terms of humour or entertainment. The humour for the most part is terrible, the jokes are predictable and just downright unfunny. Half of the jokes are just dick jokes and ‘shit’ jokes and another 40% of the jokes are awful running jokes that constantly repeat themselves and sequences that last for like 2-3 minutes each, ugh. That final 10% (and even 10% is generous) are the very few times they got me to kinda laugh a little. But you get one 3 second laugh every 20 minutes or so, meaning that the rest of the time you better be invested in these characters otherwise you’re gonna have a tough time staying awake.
And the characters were bad, not all of them were completely awful the whole time, but overall, they were all bad. The two kids for example, terrible….. absolutely goddamn unbearably TERRIBLE, everything those two little shits said past the 5 minute mark made me cringe. They have these recurring ‘jokes’ throughout the entire film and they were maybe a little funny the first time but they drove them into the ground really fast. And the parents also had nothing interesting about them, they were just generic obliviously dumb characters used to take the film to various locations for more crappy jokes. I obviously didn’t expect fully fleshed out characters but they were just completely unoriginal and had nothing good or funny to say.
I have to say, one positive is that even though the jokes were terrible in all the locations they went to, the film surprisingly didn’t spend too long at each stop on the way to Wally World. Something went wrong, they spent like 10 minutes in a location, blurted out a bunch of crappy jokes, and then moved on. Other road trip films do tend to stick to certain locations for like 15-20 minutes at a time and it does drag on. But to give credit where credit is due, they did handle the pace very well. I also kinda enjoyed the 10 minutes they spent with Chris Hemsworth’s character. He was actually a fairly likeable character and did have all of the best and funniest parts in the film.
So in the end, this really is close to the bottom of the barrel of road-trip films, both in terms of humour and originality. I don’t remember much from the original ‘Vacation’ but from what i’ve heard and what i remember it doesn’t do the film any justice. Want a good road-trip film? Check out Dumb and Dumber or even Little Miss Sunshine, just do yourself a favour and stay away from this.