Ed Helms has always been moderately funny to me. In this film, I think the real power of it comes from the writing which compliments Helm’s performance to enhance his “funny.” On the other side, I was surprised at how well he hit the dramatic notes here (what little there were), given how silly the film was designed to be.
Christina Applegate is always a pleasure to look at and again, the script helped to elevate the relevance of her role, and she took full advantage of this. I think she had an easier time and a more stable performance not having to be overtly silly but instead written as a serious pillar much of the calamity happens around.
Skyler Gisondo was very good in this and played well to the sympathies of the audience being a normal kid with eclectic proclivities stuck in a family plagued by calamity, much of which comes from the failed machinations of his father. That said, the reverse-bully element introduced by the performance of Steele Stebbins make for some laugh-out-loud moments in the film.
The Griswold’s are your typical American family (not) that take a vacation every year to keep the bonds of family strong (such as they are). Rusty Griswold has been doing this since he was a child (and the original “Vacation” film) and it has become family tradition.
After overhearing how his wife Debbie has never liked the vacations they have been on, and confirming this by taking a closer look at the family vacation pictures, Rusty decides to do something different this year….and plans to revisit the place that started his tradition of vacations; Walley World.
I don’t usually go the movies to watch comedy films. There is just something about them that never has me feeling like my money was well spent paying to see them. I’m happy to say that this film did not give me that feeling.
Perhaps my clue above already gave away the fact that as a viewer of the original film that came out in 1983, it was very nice to see Chevy Chase make an appearance in his original role as Clark Griswold (Rusty’s father)…and playing the role just as he did back in 1983.
If you are into comedy films (and I am usually not), take a look at this film and enjoy yourself. Not being my usual flavor, this film nevertheless had three and a half cinnamon sticks, in my cup of tea, in stitches.