Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Vacation

Hopper Stone/Warner Bros.

Judging from most of these reviews, you might need to take a trip of your own after seeing Vacation. 

In the National Lampoon's Vacation remake, the Griswold clan—now headed by Ed Helms and Christina Applegate—take a page out of Chevy Chase's playbook and embark on a cross-country adventure with their two sons, played by Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins, to family fun amusement park Wally World.

But just as any Griswold family voyage goes, the trip is far from smooth sailing. Enter ridiculous antics: including (but not limited to) Chris Hemsworth's particularly long schlong, a fiery car wreck and a hot-tubbing experience in raw sewage. 

Vacation is rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity. 

Here's what critics have to say about the film:

• Variety's Scott Foundas says viewers will feel like they've taken "a dip in a lake filled with human excrement," after "enduring 90-odd minutes of this miserably unfunny, mean-spirited and just plain wrong reboot of the much-loved 1980s and '90s National Lampoon comedy series." Foundas continues that Applegate, "is utterly wasted here as Rusty's long-suffering missus, on hand mainly to projectile-vomit her way through a round of drunken sorority games during a visit to her Memphis alma mater. Still, she escapes with slightly more dignity than does Chris Hemsworth, on hand mainly to prance about in his skivvies..."

• Though Rebecca Keegan of the Los Angeles Times calls Vacation "a mostly bumpy, unpleasant trip... relying too much on unexamined nostalgia and vile gross-out gags," the critic believes, "There's a freshness to the relationship between the brothers too, as the younger sibling, for once, is the bully, and the older one a poetry-writing softie, and both Gisondo and Stebbins have good timing and natural instincts as actors." Keegan adds, "Hemsworth has one of the movie's most memorable scenes, in an extended visual joke about his impressive anatomy, and Charlie Day creates a delightfully unhinged character out of a river-rafting tour guide reeling from a recent breakup."

Chris Hemsworth, Vacation


• "There must be some sort of Dr. Seuss contraption shared among Hollywood studios called the Unfunny-izer, hauled out and set to sputtering when it comes time for the latest depressing remake of a comedy. The new Vacation must've been run through it twice," The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips writes."The filmmakers place a strange emphasis on jokes involving the sexual molestation of teens and preteens. Certainly the '83 Vacation pushed its luck here and there..." but "the new movie never stops pushing. Midair turbulence causes Helms' pilot to stumble and fall, head first, into the crotch of a very young passenger. (The staging is beyond clumsy, and a step or two north of icky.)"

Deadline's Pete Hammond says the film "is a beer-chugging, cow-murdering, human-waste-bathing raucous delight that had me—and the audience I saw it with—laughing all the way. Particularly funny was a stop at Rusty's sister's house (Leslie Mann) where Chris Hemsworth gets to reveal true comic talent as her dim-witted weatherman husband. He goes for it—and it pays off in big laughs. Also back are Chase and [Beverly] D'Angelo for an extended cameo near the end of the film. They haven't lost their touch and it's nice to see them back as the senior Griswolds."

• "Vacation wisely doesn't try to repeat the 'Park's closed, the moose out front shoulda told ya' climax of the original, but it doesn't replace it with anything comparably memorable. By the time the Griswolds wrap up this trip, you'll feel like you've been subjected to someone else's slide show, one that definitely featured some memorable moments, but not enough to justify all that couch time," Alonso Duralde of The Wrap writes.

The New York Times' Neil Genzlinger calls the flick "a very funny R-rated movie with a PG-13 heart," adding that Helms and Applegate are "skilled comedy veterans, and Ms. Applegate has what is surely the summer's best vomit scene. But the young actors playing their sons come close to stealing the movie...Strengthening of brotherly and marital bonds is the real agenda, of course, but happily the movie never stays on these laugh-killing themes long."

Vacation hits theaters today.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.