Vegas Vacation (1997)

reviewed by
Joe Chamberlain


Vegas Vacation
A review by Joe Chamberlain

Starring Chevy Chase; Beverly D'Angelo; Randy Quaid; Ethan Embry & Marisol Nichols

Vegas Vacation is the fourth film starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as the heads of the hapless Griswold family. As with the other three films, their two children, Rusty and Audrey, are played by a revolving series of actors. This time Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols fill the roles. Also back, is Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), the slob relative who seems to bring problems wherever he goes. In Vegas Vacation Clark Griswold (Chase) decides to take the family on vacation to Las Vegas so that he and wife Ellen (D'Angelo) can renew their wedding vows. It is at this point when comedy is supposed to ensue. Apparently the filmmakers thought that putting the Griswolds into Las Vegas would be so funny on its own that they wouldn't bother to write any jokes into the script. At least that's the way it looks when watching this turkey.

About half way through Vegas Vacation I began to have serious doubts as to whether there would actually be a single laugh in the entire film, since there had been none up to that point. By the end of the movie I had actually snickered a couple of times, and I had smiled at a couple of gags. I might add that none of the funny (and I use the term loosely) moments came as a result of anything Chase, D'Angelo or Quaid were involved in. They might as well have stayed home for as much as they contributed to this film. The two best things in this movie were Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols as the Griswold kids, who manage to have a couple of their own adventures. Rusty becomes a Vegas high roller, providing most of the film's best moments. Every time Chase and Quaid were involved in a gag, it just made it more and more apparent that they should have stopped this series after the third film.

Which brings me to the best moment of the film. The Griswolds are driving down the highway and Holiday Road (the theme from the original Vacation) begins to play. Christie Brinkley and her red Ferrari (also from the first movie) drive by. It was a cute moment, but all it really did was remind me just how funny the first film had been, and just how far that this series has fallen. Too bad.

3/10
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