“””I show up at 3:00 AM. She’s still up watching Vacation, and I see her pretty face.”” Famous Blink 182 lyrics from their song Josie, if you knew them before All the Small Things, or at least did your homework afterwards. Now of course, this being off their album Dude Ranch which was released in 1997, they’re talking about the original vacation. Not this far off sequel.
Coincidentally, this post for Vacation is the first of hopefully several that are set to autopost while I myself am on vacation. Except I’m going to Disney World, not Wally World. Moving on.
I have to applaud the writers here on their idea how to do a new Vacation movie. It’s a remake-ish, but more accurately a far in the future sequel. It involves the notorious Griswald family taking a trek across the country. However, the patriarch of the family is the now grown up Rusty, the young son in the original Vacation and subsequent sequels. Incidentally, he and sister Audrey were played by different actors in each movie (with parents Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo remaining constant) so it’s fitting that we have Rusty #6, Ed Helms. A new Audrey (Leslie Mann) shows up too, but only during a stop on the trip and not in the whole thing.
We had a really great meta joke early on about how they weren’t going on the exact same trip, that pointed out some arbitrary differences in the details. Aaaaaand it was all downhill from there, unfortunately. The movie and the humor were just dumb. To be fair, the previous installments are kinda dumb too, but they’re tinted with enough nostalgic value that it can be overlooked. I don’t see this one ever garnering the same respect in the history of comedy.
I’m not sure that I could even pinpoint what went wrong exactly. I typically like Ed Helms, even though most of his characters tend to be played similarly, and he teamed well with Christina Applegate. I think my problem was with the lazy humor. Unclever gross out jokes or long uncomfortable moments of awkwardness. That absurd car is probably where my suspension of disbelief ended, because really, nobody could be that dumb to use the vehicle that no one on earth would have created anyways. I mean really, is there any way to justify having buttons to blow out the windows or eject the rear bumper?
I’m a little disappointed in writer/1st time director John Francis Daley and his partner in crime Jonathan M. Goldstein. I mean, really, this is what Daley left Bones for? I’m happy for this former Geek (as in Freaks and Geeks) to have started making a name for himself behind the camera, but I expected or at least hoped for more. The jokes that landed were few and far between. There were a few good cameos that attempted to help, but they weren’t enough to save the film. I just hope I’m never trapped on a cross country road trip with only this movie for entertainment
Vacation – \m/ \n”