Monday, August 3, 2015

Vacation (2015)

Saying that I was disappointed in Vacation is like saying I was disappointed in the Taco Bell I got at 2 AM on a Saturday. I wasn't expecting much. Even with lowered expectations and a beer before the movie (so, yes, I was in a good mood), I felt that Vacation was still a giant waste of time.

I guess I should start with the cast. I like Ed Helms a lot, but I don't think he was right for the role. He's too sincere when it would have been better to have someone a little darker or with more of a sarcastic edge. It also doesn't help that he looks nothing like an older Anthony Michael Hall. Yes, he's playing the same Rusty Griswold from the original Vacation. In fact, I don't know why they just didn't get Hall to play the role. I'm pretty sure he's available. Leslie Mann was better cast as the older Audrey, but she's only in one part of the movie. I didn't mind Chris Hemsworth's attempt at comedy, but I can't say the same for his attempt at a Texan accent. Lastly, it's a shame they didn't give Christina Applegate more to do as she seemed like the only person that was really into it.

Oh, there is a cameo by Chevy Chase, but it only served to show how little he has left in the tank. He as shaky and unfunny. Beverly D'Angelo still looked good though, but she has like two lines of dialog. Their entire scene felt added on just for nostalgia's sake.

The other big problem with Vacation is that it's just not that funny. There's a few chuckles, but nothing made me laugh out loud. The funniest part of the movie was the opening credits, which was just a montage of awkward, random family vacation photos. This isn't even something out of the script or story. I think most people will get the biggest kick out of the younger brother constantly bullying the older brother, but that's a one-note gag that plays out by about the halfway mark. Most of the other humor comes out of crude bodily humor, or awkward behavior or dialog.

Vacation features two of my biggest pet peeves in comedy, the guy that gets walked all over for most of the film (basically the same role Helms played in The Hangover), and jokes hinging around something that's impossible. Like, there's a scene where they hit a button on their fake car (which already has enough design flaws that there's no way it could possibly exist) that causes all of the windows to explode. Even the characters remark as to why that would happen, but just because you point out that fact in the movie doesn't make it funny. It's still stupid. They try to redo the famous Christie Brinkley scene where the punchline is that she's brutally killed in a head-on collision. Can someone explain to me how that's funny on any level?

There's really nothing more I can say about Vacation. It's definitely not worth seeing in the theater, and I'm having a hard time saying it's worth seeing at all. Just stick to the original and Christmas Vacation and forget that they even attempted another sequel.

1 (out of 5) Death Stars

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