The following is a review of Vacation (2015), a Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley film.
Believe it or not, 2015’s Vacation is the fifth theatrical installment in the Vacation-series. We’ve been with the Griswolds through many memorable adventures in Vegas, Europe, and, most notably, across the United States of America. This time around it is not Clark but Rusty Griswold leading his family from the Midwest to Walley World – and, sadly, it is not as memorable as the original Vacation.
However, that’s not to say that I didn’t like the film. To be perfectly honest with you, I went in with very low expectations, and went out surprisingly satisfied. Look, this film is not for everyone, and there are many films that do vacation or travelogue comedy better than this one does.
I’d much rather watch We’re The Millers or Due Date than this one, but this film certainly has its place. Comparatively I’d even say that there are many way worse Vacation-films out there. But there are two rather large problems that I have with this film.
Firstly, this film mostly contains immature humor. Now, that is not to say that immature humor cannot work in a Vacation-film. But here’s the thing, this film does not strike the right balance between immaturity and heartwarming family moments. Thus, I would not be surprised if some people argued that this film is not worthy to be in the same franchise as the original Harold Ramis classic.
Secondly, as the film chugged along what became more and more clear for me was that every single ‘immediate family-moment’ was underwhelming compared to the many cameos and their scenes. It almost felt like you were watching a series of sketches connected by less than stellar family interactions.
That said, the aforementioned cameos were absolutely great – the trailers had already revealed two great cameos from Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day, and there is another noteworthy cameo, but I won’t go into details. Also, while the family interactions were subpar, I actually found both Ed Helms and Christina Applegate’s performances serviceable.
And that is the one word I would use to describe this film. While it is not a memorable entry in the franchise, it is most certainly a serviceable one, and I do think you can have a fun time with this film if you keep your expectations low.
Final Score: 6 out of 10 – Not as bad as I had feared, not as good as I had hoped.
I’m Jeffrey Rex