Skyler Gisondo

Skyler Gisondo

Reel Reviews: Griswolds trek again

The new Vacation, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, is worth the car ride.

  • Aug. 9, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) and his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) take their sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) on a cross country vacation.

Driving more than 2,000 miles to Walley World, Rusty hopes to relive the adventure he shared with his family when he was a boy. With Griswold luck and creativity, he will get what he wants when everything goes wrong.

We say, “It’s worth the car ride.”

TAYLOR: This Vacation was fine. It made me laugh, which isn’t easy for a film. As Rusty comments in the film, when asked by his family why he would want to redo the same vacation from his childhood, “This vacation will stand on its own.”

This is just the same film, with different scenarios playing out. In a way, Vacation even mocks the jokes from the original, but it does so in a friendly, familiar way. Still, I hope that this isn’t a “remake franchise reborn.”

I consider Christmas Vacation untouchable, they daren’t remake it. Just move on to new material, if possible.

HOWE: Goofy, silly and funny are three words that sum up the ‘80s original road trip. Move forward 30 years and add rude, coarse language to that list, just to keep up with the times. There seems to be a lot of negative reviews of this picture, but I can tell you I laughed and laughed a lot. Most of it came during the dafter moments of the movie, herding the cattle for instance. It has a silly feel to it, like the original. This is the first time in a long long time that I have found a comedy funny and entertaining at the same time. There are also many cameo roles, including Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth as Rusty’s sister and brother in law. It wouldn’t have been a Griswold vacation without Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo making an appearance. This Vacation is a good addition to the Griswold holiday album.

TAYLOR: The two Griswold boys were well played, more so than the adults. I felt like almost anybody could have been put in the places of Helms and Applegate. The humour was varied, there was physical, situational and crude comedy. It’s true it was quite silly, their rented vehicle was absurd and I loved it. The weird minivan might have been the funniest thing in the film. Vacation gets a bit raunchy at times. Take your pre-teen if you want to gauge what he or she already knows about sex. They’ll laugh whether they get it or not. There’s a few strong curse words when Rusty has finally had enough at the end, but who reading this hasn’t been or known a dad who lost his mind on a family vacation?

HOWE: I agree the vehicle was fantastic, now where can I find the car dealer?

– Taylor gives Vacation 3.5 key fobs out of 5.

– Howe gives it 4 guitars out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.