These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
I am not a fan of National Lampoon anything. Though to be fair, I’m not a general fan of comedy, so my prejudice isn’t strictly on that particular franchise. Anyone who knows me really well knows I view comedy formula like so: Stupid people, making stupid decisions, getting other stupid people in trouble. This formula is all over most comedies these days and I can’t fucking stand it. When I go see movies, I don’t always want to turn my brain off. Movies are art to me, and art is an expression of how someone views something and how the possible audience feels or thinks about the perspective. If there’s no passion behind the art, there’s nothing to invest in, therefore, nothing to care about. That isn’t to say that I hate ALL comedies. There are a few that I enjoy very much so, and even own, though mostly the comedy is sewn into other genres, like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (sci-fi), CABIN IN THE WOODS (horror), and you get the point. Occasionally, some comedies trickle out that I want to see, like anything by Seth MacFarlane (TED). When VACATION was announced, a sequel slash reboot of the National Lampoon franchise of the same…ish name, I was… meh, about it. The only reason I cared to see it at all was because of Christina Applegate, whom I am a huge fan of from criminally short TV shows SAMANTHA WHO? and UP ALL NIGHT. The trailers made the film seem alright, but leaned heavily on gross-out humor, the kind of humor I despise. But I had a couple of free passes at work, my mom wanted to see it, my dad wasn’t opposed to going either, so we made our way to Cinepolis and watched it.
Starring: Ed Helms (CHAPPAQUIDDICK , I DO… UNTIL I DON’T , and the upcoming TAG ), Christina Applegate (BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS , BAD MOMS , and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS ), Skyler Gisondo (SANTA CLARITA DIET [2017 – ongoing], and the upcoming FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES ), and Steele Stebbins (CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND [2015 – 2019], and the upcoming SATURDAY AT THE STARLIGHT )
Support: Chris Hemsworth (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR , THOR: RAGNAROK , THE HUNTMAN: WINTER’S WAR , IN THE HEART OF THE SEA , and upcoming films BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE  and AVENGERS: ENDGAME ), Leslie Mann (BLOCKERS , THE COMEDIAN , HOW TO BE SINGLE , PARANORMAN , and upcoming films WELCOME OF MARWEN  and MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN ), Charlie Day (FIST FIGHT , THE HOLLARS , and the upcoming HOTEL ARTEMIS ), Chevy Chase (HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 , SNOW DAY , and the upcoming THE LAST LAUGH ), and Beverly D’Angelo (THE HOUSE BUNNY , and the upcoming FRAT PACK )
Directors: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (GAME NIGHT , and the upcoming The Flash )
Writers: John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING )
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh (THOR: RAGNAROK, PITCH PERFECT 2 , and upcoming films HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION  and EVEREST )
Cinematographer: Barry Peterson (GAME NIGHT, THE SPACE BETWEEN US , CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE , SISTERS , and upcoming films THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME  and GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN )
Editor: Jamie Gross (GAME NIGHT and POPSTAR )
This is my honest opinion of: VACATION
The story follows a now-adult Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms), who has a wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate), and his two sons, the older nerdy and socially awkward James (Skyler Gisondo), and the younger foul-mouthed bully Kevin (Steele Stebbins). However, the family is less than happy and functional. Kevin bullies James all the time, and Debbie wishes she could have a more exciting marriage. Both Rusty and Debbie are about to have some time off and Rusty wants to do their usual trip to his cabin out in the middle of nowhere. But no one else in the family is excited at all. Debbie wishes she could take an exotic vacation to Europe, or something. Overhearing this desire for something else, Rusty decides to take his family on a road trip to Walley World, the same kind of road trip he took as a kid with his family.
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but this movie is still just not up my alley. As you might expect, yup, I enjoyed Applegate immensely. Her comedic timing and line-delivery just kills me. Not to mention when the story calls for her to be dramatic, she really nails it. Maybe I’m just bias, but she’s what saved the movie for me.
Beyond that, RUSTY IS A FUCKING DUMB-SHIT!!! Everything he does just drives me fucking insane in the worst possible ways. At first, he’s totally fine and normal, but as soon as he gets off the plane in that first scene, comes home to his family… how in fucking hell can a person be THAT dense? No, you idiot, you ARE making it sound like your son has a vagina in front of his bully younger brother, YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!! How about that “Griswold’s Springs?” Dear fucking shit, if there was a real path leading to an oasis or whatever, don’t you think there’d be other people going there, or other people following you? Even Debbie comments on that shit and Rusty’s response is… I don’t even remember. And if I can’t remember, it’s a thin response. I could go on and on about how much this character pissed me off at times.
Even the older kid James gave me mental splinters. You are a teenager living in the age of the INTERNET. Your friends tell you about rim-jobs… and you don’t bother to look it up, even though you’re curious about it? And you’re a grown-ass man, Rusty! How do you not know what a rim job is??? Jump to Griswold Springs: “Look, I found a dart.” Seriously, kid? Have you never had a flu shot?
There is only one decent joke in the movie, and that’s anything coming out of Charlie Day, who has a brief role in the film as Chad, a rafting guide in the Grand Canyon (I think). He’s high on life and constantly jokes with the Griswolds, saying shit like, “now, does anyone know what they’re doing? Because this is my first time.” Pause, and then he laughs, saying he’s kidding. He does this a couple times, but he plays the character so straight that his comedic timing is perfect. Of course, even THAT gets fucked up when he does this EVERY LINE. It got old fast. Though, to the scene’s credit, it does get hilarious after that bit.
Honestly, there’s a lot I just did not like in this film. A couple jokes got a laugh out of me, but the movie is just a typical comedy that I didn’t care for in the least. Thank God for comp tickets, or I might have face-palmed the shit out of myself. But I can’t deny that this might be an incredibly popular movie among those that watch it. But for me, I just didn’t like it.
My honest rating for VACATION: 2/5