STARRING: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase
DIRECTOR: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein
THE SKINNY: Feeling disconnected from his family, Rusty Griswold (Helms) proposes a family trip to Walley World, the same theme park his father (Chase) took him to as a child.Despite wife Debbie (Applegate) and sons James (Gisondo) and Kevin’s (Stebbins) objections, Rusty insists on his plan. But the road trip is filled with chaos instead of good memories.
There are a few movie genres that almost always seem to work.
One is boxing movies. Have you ever seen a bad boxing movie? I don't think I have.
The other is road flicks.
There's just something inherently entertaining about them - the sense of forward movement, the ever-changing scenery, the meetings and partings.
Wild At Heart, Beavis And Butt-head Do America, Smokey And The Bandit, Sideways - all so different but so fun.
Vacation is no different.
Shambolic and rollicking, it's a worthy successor to the 80s National Lampoon franchise that shares its name.
It's actually a better film than the original, mostly because Helms is a funnier guy than Chase ever was, and much more sympathetic.
He's the kind of everyman who makes you feel okay about being an everyman.
The jokes range from puerile to gross to surprisingly sophisticated, with a success rate of about 68 per cent.
There is some funny stuff with strangers thinking Helms and his son (played by the excellent Gisondo) are a gay couple.
Hemsworth's cameo is also a hoot.
I don't want to spoil the jokes, but trust me, the audience I was with had a really good time.
There are plenty of LOL moments and you learn a little something along the way - like how you have a really low sense of humour.
- JASON JOHNSON
I've never seen any of the National Lampoon flicks.
I'm not sure if I've missed out much, but if they are similar to this reboot, then I have not missed anything.
Raunchy comedies are not usually my cup of tea but somehow I do like Helms from The Hangover trilogy.
Maybe because he's always playing the underdog who deserves much more, the long-suffering team member always waiting for a chance to shine.
His Rusty is an easy-going, submissive person taking charge of the family vacation, and he never quite steps up to the plate - much like Helms himself, who squanders the opportunity to carry this comedy on his own.
Much blame goes to first-time directors Daley and Goldstein, who made a name for themselves for writing Horrible Bosses.
But while that was actually funny, the jokes here are lame and in poor taste.
The duo also fail to write anything decent for the sorely underused Applegate.
Ironically, the newbies are the ones who deliver the goods.
Teen actors Gisondo and Stebbins work well together as brothers, and the other big surprise is Hemsworth, who totally rocks the part of himbo weatherman.
Littered with vulgarity and inappropriate sexual jokes, this supposedly family-oriented comedy sure ain't family-friendly.
- JOANNE SOH
THE CONSENSUS: The guys will enjoy this Vacation, the girls less so.