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MOVIE REVIEW: Can the new “Vacation” Top The Old One?

I’m not a fan of what I call “Disaster Comedies.” You know, those movies where everything that CAN go wrong DOES go wrong? The original Vacation of 1983 set the Gold Standard of “Disaster Comedies” for me and no others (including the Vacation sequels) have been able to top it. If you go back and watch the first one again though, you’ll remember how truly ridiculous it was. We forgave it at the time because the rest of the movie was so darn funny. The new Vacation follows that same pattern, with each plot twist growing more outlandish than the last.

Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms), is now grown, married and the father of two quarreling boys. He and his wife (an adorable & totally underrated Christina Applegate) are in a rut so for something new, he decides to take his family to Wally World. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything of course.

Vacation starts slowly and has moments of mind blowing banality. It’s also one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in years. I laughed so hard that actually I embarrassed myself. I probably should’ve apologized to the people sitting in front of me. The Griswolds run into some especially funny people along the way, like Charlie Day, Nick Kroll and Leslie Mann. It was Chris Hemsworth’s role as a flirty Texas weatherman though that had me scream-laughing. There’s also a visit with the Grandparents, Clark & Ellen Griswold, that is hilarious and brings the series full-circle.

I can’t lie to you and say that this movie is smart but the comedic timing is impeccable. You see some jokes coming from miles away, but they still find a way to sneak up on you. I wish the writers had tried a little harder with the storyline but I still have to give Vacation a B-. Yes, it could’ve been a much better movie, but I simply can’t be mad at something that made me laugh that freaking hard. In fact, see if YOU can get through the trailer without giggling. I dare you! The new Vacation opens July 29th and you can find tickets by clicking HERE.

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  1. “Vacation” has some self-referential fun as Rusty’s family discusses who has heard of the original vacation and whether trying to duplicate it would just result in a big letdown. Whether an on-screen family conversation or a reflection of the thoughts of real-life moviegoers, those concerns are unfounded. The new fictional Griswolds are brought closer together by their trip and the cinematic portrayal of their misadventures is both fun & funny‚Ķ maybe even more than the first “Vacation”. “A-“

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