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Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Rusty (Helms), an aircraft pilot for a domestic carrier comes upon the idea to take his wife Debbie (Applegate) along with two sons James (Gisondo) and Kevin (Stebbins) on a road trip to an amusement park called Walley World. Their road trip however, is nothing short of disastrous, as they are beset at almost every turn during the journey, by various difficulties.
While the film is supposed to derive loose inspiration from National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), there are actually just a few similarities. For example, this version spares nothing when it comes to bawdiness and potty humour that can either hugely tickle your funny bone, or put you off, if naughty jokes don't float your boat.
Rusty is a perfectly loving dad and husband. He loves his two boys and sees himself more as a friend to them, rather than a patriarchal figure. Debbie knows he is extremely well-meaning but she craves for him to be a bit more rough-and-tough, apart from wishing he was a bit more dominating with her in the boudoir. She misses the point that he's a genuinely rare 'nice guy' and that bed-breaking sex is not the be-all of a relationship. For the blissfully unaware Rusty however, the road trip is the ultimate tool in his bag of tricks to not only bring the spark back into his marriage, but help him bond with his sons too.
The movie has plenty of genuinely funny moments. Their vehicle for starters, looks ready to fall apart at any time, with the voice of the GPS navigation system sounding like a hysterically angry samurai warrior. There's also the part when they spend the night at Rusty's sister Audrey's (Leslie Mann) country home. Hemsworth has a full-on hamming-it-to-the-hilt role as a wealthy Southern gent who has a bourbon glass seemingly glued to his hand all day, is impossibly well-endowed and is a bull stud when in bed with Audrey. Apart from his cameo, you'll also want to look out for a portly Chevy Chase's turn here. Fancy a bunch of laughs? Go see it then.
The Griswolds first hit the screen over three decades ago in the classic comedy “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” giving audiences lasting memories of the disasters that can befall a family on a cross-country road trip. Getting to Walley World, America’s favorite adventure destination, was a hilarious hassle for Clark Griswold, his wife, Ellen, and their bickering kids, Rusty and Audrey. It was also an unforgettable trip for filmgoers around the world and became a major box office success. Over the years, the Griswolds took us on a “European Vacation,” a “Vegas Vacation,” and even shared a “Christmas Vacation” with us, becoming part of our cultural fabric.
Chase, who returns as one of the world’s best known—and wackiest—on-screen fathers, now a grandfather, reflects, “There’s something about the optimism in the Griswolds that is relatable. Regardless of everything going wrong that can go wrong, they're going to get to Walley World or wherever, and that's where everything’s going to go right. Of course, it doesn't, but that's what it’s all about, wanting it to, and it's those little comic moments along the way that really make it worth the trip. I loved the script and John and Jonathan’s take and was flattered to be invited along,” he continues. “I think this ‘Vacation’ will make people laugh a lot.”
The art department supplied the design for the interior Tartan Prancer, which the vehile special effects team built out. Goldstein and Daley were very hands-on with all the interior details, including six ashtrays, front and rear cigarette lighters and the genuine cloth upholstery and interior color scheme. There’s a little bit of everything: Stout corduroy headrests, Brentano vinyl and metallic vinyl dash, Brentano vinyl armrests, and a mixture of plain blue fabric trim with blue and tan diamond-patterned fabric for the front bucket seats and back bench seat.
The special effects team inserted a motorized boat style seat and the real back of the driver’s seat was separately attached to Ed Helms’ back like a vest so when the motor was on it appeared that the entire driver’s seat was moving around in a full circle.
One of the most complicated scenes involving the Prancer required the build of a massive rig that surrounded the Prancer so it could be rotated like a rotisserie. All of the actors were strapped inside the Prancer, which was inside the rotisserie rig and the vehicle was turned. This was shot green screen and items floating in the air around them were later added in post.
Before Ed Helms, other top actors like Jason Sudeikis, Adam Sandler and Michael Rosenbaum were considered.
The Truckster used in the film belongs to a family in Georgia—actually named the Griswolds—who built a replica from the original “Vacation” and took it on their own family vacation to all the spots across America the film family visited. They were thrilled to loan it to the filmmakers.
Griswold children have been portrayed as adults for the first time.
Rusty Griswold is a disenchanted pilot for Econo-Air, and he shares a very estranged relationship with his wife, Debbie, and their two sons, the shy and anxious older son, James, and the cruel and mean-spirited younger son, Kevin. Envious of the vacation the family of his friends, Jack and Nancy, had in Paris, he decides to nix his family's annual trip to their cabin in Cheboygan, Michigan and instead drive cross country to Walley World, just as he had years before with his parents and sister.
Along the way, the Griswolds make many stops. The first is Memphis, where it's revealed that the otherwise laid-back Debbie was an extremely promiscuous woman in college. While staying at a motel, James meets Adena (Catherine Missal), a girl his age that he saw while driving on the highway, but is scared away by Rusty trying to entice her towards him in a very creepy awkward way. In Arkansas, they are led to a supposedly hidden spring by a drifter, but when they realize that it's a sewage dump, they return to their car only to see it broken into and their luggage and cash stolen. They're then forced to stop in Texas to receive assistance from Rusty's sister, Audrey (Leslie Mann), and her husband, Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth). Rusty begins to suspect tension in his relationship with Debbie due to Stone's obviously outward sexual behavior and actions, but she dispels his suspicions.
Spending the following night at an Arizona campsite, Rusty and Debbie go off to have an unsuccessful attempt at sex at the Four Corners while James finally asserts himself against Kevin with help from Adena (who also happens to be there). The next morning, after nearly getting killed by a suicidal rafting guide (Charlie Day) in the Grand Canyon, their rental car runs out of gas in the middle of the desert and explodes, leading Rusty to relent over the miserable trip and walk off alone. After being tailed-down by a seemingly manic truck driver (Norman Reedus) over what was thought to be a derogatory comment left by Kevin earlier in the trip, he instead returns Debbie's missing wedding ring and gives them a lift to San Francisco, where they spend the night at a bed-and-breakfast run by Rusty's parents, Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), with the intent of flying home to Chicago the next day. It's there that Rusty and Debbie confront each other about their eroding marriage and decide to start over again.
With some coaxing by Clark the next morning, Rusty decides to drive his family to Walley World to ride their newest coaster, Velociraptor. After spending the entire day waiting in line, they are cut off by a more successful airline pilot rival of Rusty's and his family before the announcement of the park's closing. The two families brawl in the line, ending with the other family deciding to flee. The Griswolds finally board the ride, but it stalls halfway up a loop, and they are rescued after several hours. They are brought closer by the experience, and Rusty uses his airline connections to spend a relaxing vacation in Paris alone with Debbie.
Comedy film Vacation, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, is getting rave reviews from the moviegoers. Look what the audience said about the film on Twitter...
A negative tweet
They've done a National Lampoons Vacation remake. That's not on. Chevy Chase would be turning in his grave, if he was dead. #vacationmovie