Vacation (2015) – Film Review

vacation film review main comedy

Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein
Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo
Certificate: 15

By Anel Blazevic

A sort of sequel to the long-dormant Chevy Chase-dominated ‘Vacation’ series, this desperate laughter vacuum pitches Ed Helms in the Chase role. It rolls out the bad taste humour with a bludgeoning relentlessness and somehow manages to make you cringe in awful, pitying embarrassment for the rest of the cast for the entire duration of the film.

Helms and his wife Debbie (a visibly jaded Christina Applegate) take their two constantly-fighting children James (the wimpy one) and Kevin (the foul-mouth one) on a road trip to Wally World in their rented Albanian automobile. And hilarity most definitely does not ensue.

John Hughes’s Sam Ramis-directed original managed to mix in a little genre subversion and social comment into the crass slapstick – an important fact that is conveniently ignored this time around. But there was still something unlovable about that original film. This reboot goes one better than unlovable – it’s objectionable.

vacation film review comedy


Foul language as substitute for humour? I mean, what subset of the human species is this film aimed at? There’s a mean-spirited desire to humiliate anyone and everyone that is utterly depressing. There are idiotic jokes about paedophilia that think they’re subversive but are just dumb. Sorry, but Post Ted, gross out humour 21st Century-style really needs to be a whole lot smarter than this.

Poor Chris Hemsworth turns in a decent 10 minutes as a ridiculously over-endowed weatherman. But by then the comedy horse has bolted so far away there’s no point even bothering to shout its name. It’s weird, because I remember laughing at the trailer. Never believe a trailer.

Take heed, the film’s two directors are planning a sequel. We need to do everything we can to stop them.


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