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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Spoof > Road Trip > Vacation (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Vacation (2015/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: A-/B Sound A-/B Extras: B Film: B+

Vacation is another one of those movies that people did not give a shot. Audiences were anticipating another reboot disaster from a franchise that people were not asking about. However, much to my surprise, Vacation had many funny scenes, granted some were already seen in the trailer, which is a disappointment with movies giving away too much nowadays, but what we were not expecting was those scenes had even funnier moments.

Rusty (Ed Helms) takes the reins and the place of his father, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), as the driving force for this family vacation. At first it is surprising, because in all the movies from the original Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation it does not seem like the children are into it, but if you look back, you can see those moments between Rusty and his father Clark (Chase). It also follows the trend in movies, and I guess life, that children will ultimately wind up like their parents, which in this case is not really a bad thing. Ed Helms delivers a slightly different take to the head of the Griswold household. He involves his family more to bring the humor, where as Chevy Chase could be alone and still bring the comedy, Helms really does not give us that.

There is also a lot more involvement with Rusty's wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate), where she has her own story and equal opportunities to bring the comedy in Vacation. They also seem to have better conversations as husband and wife; that is not to say the original couple of Clark (Chase) and Ellen Griswold (Beverly D'Angelo) did not work as a couple, but it was clear back then that Chevy Chase was the frontrunner where as now Christina Applegate is truly a co-star alongside Ed Helms.

As Helms says in the trailer, "...the new Vacation will stand on its own…" and it does. They do keep some of the old shticks of the originals, but manage to poke and make fun of some of them as well and add their own, which is a refreshing take on The Griswold's. A big one that they put their own spin on is not having the hilarious Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) character, but using Rusty's (Helms) sister Audrey (Leslie Mann) instead. Although, Audrey (Mann) is rarely seen and does not bring as much as her normal humor that she does to the screen. Instead, it is her husband and Rusty's brother-in-law Stone (Chris Hemsworth) that brings that extended family comedy into the Griswold family and world that Vacation creates. If they are to bring this cast back and not stick to the usual trend of replacing people such as Rusty and Audrey I would like to see more of Leslie Mann's style, but Chris Hemsworth picked up the slack. Perhaps casting her was just to make a cameo like the so many that are in this movie such as Charlie Day, Keegan-Michael Key, and Norman Reedus, just to name a few.

Now to talk about the new kids that are involved, which are Rusty (Helms) and Debbie's (Applegate) children. Most of the humor you will find actually comes from these two. There is the awkward teen, James (Skyler Gisondo), who is picked on by his bully of a younger brother Kevin (Steele Stebbins). These two young actors play off each other great and it would be nice to see Vacation break away from the trend of replacing any of the kids.

Vacation is presented on Blu-ray high definition 1080p in a 2.40:1 widescreen format, which looks great on any television. Comedies are supposed to bright and have vibrant colors to set a warm mood and this movie is no exception. Each character is heard clearly through the lossless English DTS-HD MA 5.1, which has a feel that makes you feel like you are at the movies and able to laugh with the rest of the audience. The DVD is presented on standard definition widescreen, but still looks fairly decent for not being in high definition.

There are a few fun bonus features on the disc for Vacation that include: Return to Walley World, The Griswold Odyssey, Gag Reel, and Deleted Scenes. It also includes a digital copy of the movie so you can watch it on the go, like if you go on Vacation with your family.

- Jordan Whiteko


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