Belated comedy franchise film Vacation has bawdy humour in spades. The film is passably amusing and sufficiently diverting.
With nostalgia for his childhood vacation, grown-up Rusty Griswold tries to recreate the trip with his own family. Rusty takes his wife Debbie and their two sons on a road trip to the Walley World theme park in order to bring the family closer together…
Reference to the National Lampoon series on films is made early on in Vacation, and as Rusty remarks, it is not imperative to have seen the franchise of films to appreciate this latest offering. Vacation is suitably entertaining viewing, functioning appropriately as an independent title.
Writer-directors Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley combine a comedy with the road trip format. The majority of the action takes place as the Griswold family embark on their long drive to Walley World. Overlaying comedic aspects of the film is an emphasis on family and the relationships between the main characters in Vacation.
The main themes in Vacation suggest a family adventure feel to the film. Nevertheless, much of the humour is unmistakably adult. Comedy in the film is often crude, and the language frequently colourful. More often than not, jokes hit the spot, even if the film does have viewers cringing.
This juxtaposition of lewd humour and reflective family moments could easily have felt jarring. Nonetheless, in the hands of Goldstein and Daley, Vacation has a amiable tone. The film charms to a certain extent, despite the toilet humour. Pacing in the film works well, and characters are suitably developed given the set up.
Ed Helms is finely cast as nice guy Rusty Griswold. Christina Applegate is amusing as Debbie, whilst Skyler Gisondo is suitably awkward as eldest son James. Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann and Charlie Day are decent in supporting roles.
Vacation is not family viewing, but adult viewers are sure to have a laugh. An entertaining distraction.