Review: Seriously don't go on this 'Vacation'

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Worst. Vacation. Ever. The "Vacation" franchise gets a most unwelcome reboot with the crude, rotten and altogether unfunny "Vacation."

It's a movie that feels like its script was dusted off from the late '90s gross-out era of screen comedy, and it attempts to wring laughs from vomit gags, fecal jokes and anatomy humor that wouldn't even make the Farrelly Brothers crack a smile. There are straight-to-DVD "American Pie" sequels that work better.

Ed Helms, who at one point is covered in the guts of a dead cow and later in human waste (the movie thinks these situations are hilarious, by the way), plays a grown-up Rusty Griswold, now a pilot for a budget airline. He longs to take his family to Walley World, the amusement park he visited with his family in 1983's "Vacation," so he rounds up his wife (Christina Applegate) and his two children (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) and hits the holiday road.

As played by Chevy Chase in the original "Vacation" series, Clark Griswold was a bumbling idiot, but he meant well and loved his family. And the original "Vacation," written by John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis, had a beating heart at its center that made the characters feel flawed, but real and human.

This "Vacation," written and directed by John Francis Daley and University of Michigan grad Jonathan M. Goldstein, hates its characters and takes perverse pleasure in humiliating them. Helms' Griswold is a dangerous, moronic maniac, and the filmmakers' disdain for him rubs off on the audience. You don't want to see him make it to Walley World, you want to see him thrown in jail — a punishment less severe than going on this "Vacation."



Rated R: for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity

Running time: 99 minutes