(I) (2015)

Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Vacation does occasionally spring to life, delivering the kind of ouch-inducing humor of personal humiliation and bad luck that we’ve come to know from the ongoing adventures of the Griswold family. But while those laughs are welcome, there aren’t quite enough of them to sustain the experience.
Vacation is a Gen X comedy franchise rebooted exactly how audiences can expect in 2015, bawdier and less likable than whatever classic inspires it.
Nothing really connects, not the bullying brothers, not the frustrated parents, not the sight gags familiar to anyone who's seen the giveaway trailer. The whole production has a cheap, tacky look that the talented leads, Helms and Applegate, can't save despite considerable charm and effort.
The filmmakers’ unsubtle style is responsible for killing many of the jokes. But they do succeed with several of the performers.
Helms, a funny performer, is just the face of a mining expedition for easy yuks out of a recognised title. What that says about our regurgitative culture is rather depressing. There’s so much nostalgia on our screens right now. I could really use a vacation.
After a while, Vacation starts to reek like a car when the kids have their shoes off. Really, though, that stench is a studio digging through its old titles, trying to find something fresh to remake.
With every desperate F-bomb, every “Dad, what’s a rim job?” crudity, every crass overreach into vulgarity, Vacation feels pointless, dated and dirty.
Key to the success of the Vacation movies was their underlying sweetness — the sense that, for all their foibles, the Griswolds were a surprisingly functional lot. Families looked up at the screen and saw a version of themselves reflected back. Look at the new Vacation and all that stares back is a great comic void.
These charmless characters are meant to learn that spending time with each other isn’t so bad, yet surviving 100 minutes with them is one of the great cinematic endurance tests of our time.
If any of this was surprising or cleverly timed, you'd laugh and then cringe. In Vacation you cringe first and ask questions later.

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