The title sequence of this reboot of 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation includes holiday snapshots of butt cracks, animals humping and peeing, vomiting and an erection. It's a good indication of what to expect: a crass comedy that unfortunately fails to capture the charm of the original film.
The Hangover's Ed Helms goes on yet another disastrous holiday, this time as Rusty Griswold, son of Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. Wanting to spend some quality time with wife Debbie (Applegate) and his two sons, Rusty recreates the experience he had with his father 30 years earlier; a 4100km road-trip to Wally's World theme park.
Packed into an Albanian-made car, which is as prone to self-destruction as a Mission: Impossible gadget, the Griswolds get into a rift with a truckie, have a major crash, get robbed, bathe in excrement, attempt sex in public, witness cow cannibalism and almost die in a white-water rafting expedition. Having miserable family holidays obviously runs in the Griswold family.
There are moments in the chaos that get a smile, and a couple of laughs, but the gags come with long run-ups that make the trip feel as lengthy for us as it is for the Griswolds.
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This is a story about a family reconnecting, but there's little heart among the crude, nasty jokes. Applegate at least makes Debbie likable, while Helm manages awkward but can't quite be funny. Kids James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) have one gag to play - the younger brother bullies the sensitive, older brother James - and it's not quite enough.
Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: R13 (Violence, offensive language, sexual references)
Verdict: The jokes are more nasty than funny in this average reboot.