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Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) is all grown-up. He has a family of his own, which he supports through his full-time piloting job at Econo-Air. But Rusty, like his father, feels his family is drifting apart, so Rusty announces a cross-country vacation to Walley World. His wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) has reservations, recounting the misadventures of Rusty’s past. But we are reassured this “new” vacation will stand on it’s own.
And stand on it’s own it does, while raising a middle finger to reboot and remake haters. Vacation is hilarious, much in the same way that John Hughes’ classic was, but with an edgier twist. The trip is familiar, yet fresh and exciting.
The succession plan includes replacing Chevy Chase with Ed Helms as captain. Helms is Hollywood’s consistently reliable funny-man, and he turns a worthy comedic performance in Vacation. He’s supported by Christina Applegate, the sycophantic housewife with a secret past. Applegate and Helms don’t offer much in terms of romantic chemistry; self-humiliation is their greatest strength, going so far as to take a dip in human waste for a laugh. Rounding out the Griswold clan are James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) who play the younger-mean-brother-bullies-older-sweet-brother gag very well.
We have an advertised mantra to not get too critique-y; if it’s entertaining, just say it. As easy and unoriginal as it may seem, I laughed at every shit and dick joke Vacation could wave in my face. Extra points for attaching an impressive bulge to Chris Hemsworth, who steps away from Thor’s hammer to portray a redneck weatherman named Stone and married to Rusty’s sister Audrey (Leslie Mann). The sequence is uncomfortable and magnificent, which just about sums up this entire erratic experience.
Go on a Vacation. Relax and let go of any preconceived opinions. This grown-up version to the Chevy Chase classic shoots for an easy laugh – but so did it’s predecessor.
I was entertained. There…I said it.

Vacation is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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