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Film review: Vacation, a tiresome remake of 1983 road-trip classic

The action in Vacation is bawdier and raunchier than it was in National Lampoon's Vacation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 August, 2015, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 August, 2015, 10:48pm

The tone is set in the opening few frames of Vacation, as a commercial pilot played by Ed Helms keeps falling onto a female passenger's breasts. And there's virtually no deviation from that mood from that point onwards in this family road-trip flick, a sequel of sorts to the 1983 hit, National Lampoon's Vacation.

The earlier movie saw Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold taking his family across the country to an amusement park, encountering all sorts of mishaps along the way, including a stalled car, the loss of all their money and a misplaced corpse. Now it is 2015, and the action in the new Vacation is bawdier and raunchier.

Vacation - spiritual sequel to National Lampoon's Vacation

Helms plays Rusty Griswold, Clark's son, who wants to reconnect with his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two sons by taking the same trip as his father, only to find their misadventures growing more ridiculous by the moment: their Albanian-made car self-destructs, they swim in raw sewage, they are caught copulating on a national monument, they encounter a suicidal river-rafting guide, and their younger son is borderline homicidal.

There are laughs to be mined from the mayhem — and Griswold's brother-in-law Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth), who is at once repulsive and endearing, stands out as a loud Texan with substantial male attributes.

By the time this particular Vacation is over, it may be hard not to wonder why everyone didn't just stay at home.

Vacation opens on August 6