“Vacation” is funny, but doesn’t quite outdo the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation” film

Grab the kids and go see “Vacation” at your local movie theater. Wait, they will have to stay home because it’s rated R. OK, bring your special someone instead.

There are many similarities and differences between the new film and the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movie from 1983.

First, the plot is pretty much the same. The Griswolds embark on a cross-country trip to their favorite theme park, Wally World. Second, the male lead, in this case, Rusty, sees a hot girl in the lane next to him in a red sports car. Third, the older son has a talk with his dad about the bird’s and bee’s. Fourth, Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are back, but only briefly. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

In the 2015 film, Chase and D’Angelo are the grandparents. Rusty and Audrey have grown up and now have families of their own. Rusty (played by Ed Helms) is married to Debbie (played by Christina Applegate) and their kids are two boys–James and Kevin. Audrey (played by Leslie Mann) is married to a television meterologist, Stone (played by Chris Hemsworth).

The movie starts out with The Griswolds inviting an African-American family over for dinner. Their guests bragged about this awesome vacation they just had in Paris. Debbie told the Petersons’ about their yearly trip to the cabin that she was dreading. The next morning, Rusty woke up and told his family that he is taking them on a trip to his favorite theme park, Wally World. Then, the adventure begins.

Instead of the station wagon from the original film, the Griswolds get into a foreign car that looks like a minibus. It has all kinds of weird features including an electric plug that doesn’t fit into any American socket and a key fob with weird buttons including a swastika.

One of the first stops along the road trip is Debbie’s former university, where she was a member of a fraternity. As soon as the family arrived, the sorority members were doing a drinking game for a charity fundraiser. They walked up to Debbie and said, “I remember you.” The college-aged girls revealed all of the dumb things that Debbie did while she was a member of the sorority.

Their next stop were the hot springs in Arkansas. The Griswolds were frustrated with the huge line to get in the park, so they asked a person walking by if there was a shortcut. Of course, they fell for it. The Griswolds jumped right in what looked to be the actual hot springs. However, no one was there. Minutes later, the camera zooms out and the sign reads “Danger Raw Sewage.” The family immediately leaves the area and finds everything in their car stolen.

Later on, the Griswolds spent the night in a campground near the Four Corners Monument. That’s where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet up. While the boys were sleeping, Rusty and Debbie thought it would be a neat idea to sneak out and have sex on all four corners. However, they arrive and find dozens of other couples trying the same exact thing. Then, the cops show up.

There are lots of little “adventures” that happen during the road trip just like these.

Will the Griswolds finally make it to Wally World? You’ll have to go see the film for yourself to find out.

The new “Vacation” film is definitely funny, but I don’t think it holds up to the original. There is lots of foul language, including some from the boys. It was nice to see Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise their roles.

OVERALL GRADE: B

Still of Christina Applegate, Ed Helms, Skyler Gisondo,  and Steele Stebbins in Vacation (2015) [Warner Bros. Pictures]
Still of Christina Applegate, Ed Helms, Skyler Gisondo, and Steele Stebbins in Vacation (2015) [Warner Bros. Pictures]
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Still of Christina Applegate, Ed Helms, Skyler Gisondo, and Steele Stebbins in Vacation (2015) [Warner Bros. Pictures]

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