Vacation (2015)

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Vacation (2015)
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What could go wrong? Basically, the RoboCop (2014) of Vacation.
Genre: Comedy
Road
Directed By: Jonathan Goldstein
John Francis Daley
Produced By: Chris Bender
David Dobkin
Written By: Jonathan Goldstein
John Francis Daley
Starring: Ed Helms
Christina Applegate
Leslie Mann
Beverly D'Angelo
Ron Livingston
Skyler Gisondo
Steele Stebbins
Chris Hemsworth
Chevy Chase
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Barry Peterson
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 29, 2015
Runtime: 99 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $31 million[1]
Box Office: $107.2 million[2]
Prequel: Vegas Vacation


Vacation is a 2015 American road comedy film written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (in their directorial debuts). It stars Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Beverly D'Angelo, Chris Hemsworth, and Chevy Chase. It is the fifth theatrical installment of the Vacation film series, serving as a standalone sequel to Vegas Vacation (1997). It is also the second not to carry the National Lampoon name after Vegas Vacation, and was released by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. on July 29, 2015. It grossed $104 million on a $31 million budget and received generally negative reviews.[2]

Plot

Remembering fond, childhood memories of his trip to Walley World, Rusty Griswold surprises his wife and two sons with a cross-country excursion to America's favorite fun park. Following in his father's footsteps, Rusty and the gang pack up the car and hit the road for some much-needed family bonding. Soon, the promise of fun turns into one misadventure after another for the next generation of Griswolds and anyone who encounters them.

Production

Development

In February 2010, it was announced by New Line Cinema (owned by Warner Bros., which released the previous films) that a new Vacation film was being produced.[3] Executive Producer was Steven Mnuchin. Produced by David Dobkin and written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story focuses on Rusty Griswold as he takes his own family to Walley World.[4]

Casting

In July 2012, it was announced that Ed Helms would star in the sequel as Rusty Griswold, who now has his own family misadventures on the road.[5] On March 28, 2013, Variety announced that original series stars Beverly D'Angelo and Chevy Chase were in talks to reprise their roles, most likely in the form of a torch-passing cameo role.[6] No mention was made of other series regulars, such as Randy Quaid's Cousin Eddie.[4]

On April 23, 2013, it was reported that the film had been delayed indefinitely, due to creative differences.[7] Later, Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day were also reported to co-star.[8] Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins played Rusty Griswold's sons along with Helms and Christina Applegate.[9] On September 15, Leslie Mann joined the film to play Rusty's sister, Audrey Griswold.[10] On September 29, Keegan-Michael Key and Regina Hall were cast to play family friends of the Griswolds.[11]

On October 10, director Daley revealed in an interview that he might have a cameo with Samm Levine and Martin Starr, which would be a reunion of cult comedy show Freaks and Geeks, though it was not confirmed.[12] On November 12, four actors joined to play Four Corners cops, Tim Heidecker, Nick Kroll, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña.[13]

Filming

Principal photography began on September 16, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia.[14][15] On September 16, scenes were filmed on location at the Olympic Flame Restaurant.[16]

On September 30 and October 1, 2014, scenes were filmed on location at The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in historic Covington, Georgia.[17] The Twelve Oaks was staged as Christina Applegate's character's sorority house, Triple Pi, and the location of her attempt to run the obstacle course once more to prove that she is the Chug Run champion.

Other scenes were shot around Piedmont and 6th avenues from October 6 to 8, including at the Shellmont Inn.[16][18] On October 22, 2014, scenes were filmed at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.[19] Scenes for Walley World were filmed at Six Flags Over Georgia.[20]

In a similar vein to the original film's "Wagon Queen Family Truckster", the film features a custom-designed minivan named the "Tartan Prancer". Dubbed the "Honda of Albania", it is a heavily modified Toyota Previa[21] and features unconventional styling elements such as a mirror-image front and rear clip, complete with two sets of headlights (pulled from the Land Rover Discovery) and rearview mirrors, as well as dashboard buttons marked by nonsensical symbols. As part of a promotional tie-in with the film, Edmunds.com released a tongue-in-cheek review comparing the Tartan Prancer against the 2015 Honda Odyssey.[22]

Why Their Vacation Never Went Well

  1. The film is an insult to and lacks the charm of the 1983 classic film.
  2. The movie is aggressively mean-spirited, stupid, and dumb. While that was the case with the previous films, this one takes it on a whole new level.
  3. Lots of painfully dirty and unfunny jokes about rape, pedophilia, and suicide, where the original films never had this.
  4. The entire film is nothing but the Griswold family getting tortured, humiliated, and going through embarrassing situations.
    • Their luggage is stolen, they accidentally bathe in sewage, Rusty brutally kills a cow, and they nearly die on a raft ride. Even when the family makes it to Walley World (after another family tries to take their spot) they don't even get to enjoy it because the ride crashes which leaves them stuck upside down for hours.
    • There's even a deleted scene in which the family stops by a "burning man-like festival" and people literally burn their car down which leaves them stranded.
  5. The Griswold family (despite getting unfairly tortured throughout the film) are very unlikeable.
    • Kevin is a very annoying, obnoxious, and sadistic 12-year-old kid who swears way too much, constantly insults his brother and his family, and never gets properly punished for his bad behavior. Every time the family goes through a problem, the only thing he does is say one-liners to make the situation worse or, again, insult his brother.
    • Debbie thinks that her marriage with Rusty is dying and never appreciates her husband's efforts to keep the family together.
    • Rusty abandons his family in the middle of the desert.
  6. Very stupid dialogue, like "There's a lot of boys born with vaginas".
  7. The movie and its characters try to be funny, but just come off as annoying and flat.
  8. Most of the side characters (the rafting guide, the officers at Four Corners, Rusty's job rival) are very annoying and unlikeable.
  9. Obvious CGI used in the scene where Christina Applegate's character falls from the obstacle course. Why couldn't they have hired a stunt double?
  10. Just like the 2014 version of RoboCop, this film is completely unnecessary for reasons, because the fourth film had already killed the franchise eighteen years earlier (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 does not count actually, because it is a made-for-TV film).
  11. The Tartan Prancer car looks like something Pee-wee Herman came up with while drunk and high at the same time.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprise their iconic roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold.
  2. Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth's character) was very likable and the scenes with him are enjoyable.
  3. The Family Truckster from the first film and Holiday Road reappear.
  4. At least James finally stands up to Kevin later in the film.
  5. Norman Reedus's character is pretty funny in the film.
  6. Mark Mothersbaugh's score is decent.

Reception

Critical and audience response

Vacation received negative feedback from critics, audiences, and fans of the film series. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 27% based on 169 reviews and an average rating of 4/10. The site's consensus reads, "Borrowing a basic storyline from the film that inspired it but forgetting the charm, wit, and heart, Vacation is yet another nostalgia-driven retread that misses the mark.". On Metacritic, it has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale. It currently has a 6.1 on IMDb as well. On Letterboxd, the film has an average rating of 2.5/5.

The movie currently has a Google users rating of "76% of users liked this film".

Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film a positive review and praised the Kevin Griswold character, saying, "The kid with the potty mouth may cost Warner Bros. some business at the box office, but in a strange way he elevates Vacation, a very funny R-rated movie with a PG-13 heart."[23] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave it a "B−" rating and wrote, "The new Vacation is both better than I'd feared and not as hilarious as I'd hoped. It's intermittently funny and instantly forgettable."[24] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "It's a vile, odious disaster populated with unlikable, dopey characters bumbling through mean-spirited set pieces that rely heavily on slapstick fight scenes, scatological sight gags and serial vomiting."[25] Rolling Stone reviewer Peter Travers gave it 1.5 out of 4 stars, saying: "Leslie Mann and wild-card Chris Hemsworth, as her cock-flashing hubby, get the heartiest hoots. The rest is comic history warmed over."[26]

Box office

Vacation grossed $58.9 million in North America and $45.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $104.7 million, against a budget of $31 million.[2]

The film grossed $1.2 million from its early Tuesday preview showings, and a combined $6.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday. In its opening weekend, it grossed $14.7 million, finishing second at the box office behind Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($55.5 million).[27]

Videos

Trivia

  • This film is the second in the National Lampoon's Vacation series (after Vegas Vacation) to not bear the National Lampoon name.
  • While the first four movies were made by Warner Bros. Pictures, this one is made by New Line Cinema.
  • Will Ferrell, Michael Rosenbaum, Adam Sandler, and Jason Sudeikis were all considered for the role of Rusty.

References

  1. https://variety.com/2015/film/news/box-office-vacation-opening-1201553106/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=newline15.htm
  3. https://www.variety.com/article/VR1118015026/
  4. 4.0 4.1 https://variety.com/2013/film/news/chevy-chase-vacation-beverly-dangelo-in-talks-to-reprise-roles-in-vacation-exclusive-1200330389
  5. https://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=92434
  6. https://variety.com/2013/film/news/chevy-chase-vacation-beverly-dangelo-in-talks-to-reprise-roles-in-vacation-exclusive-1200330389/
  7. https://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=103346
  8. http://www.firstshowing.net/2014/chris-hemsworth-charlie-day-taking-a-vacation-with-ed-helms/
  9. https://variety.com/2014/film/news/rusty-griswolds-kids-in-vacation-reboot-1201291381/
  10. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leslie-mann-talks-play-audrey-728143
  11. https://variety.com/2014/film/news/keegan-michael-key-and-regina-hall-join-new-lines-vacation-exclusive-1201316655/
  12. https://www.vulture.com/2014/10/john-francis-daley-bones-vacation-freaks-geeks.html
  13. https://variety.com/2014/film/news/tim-heidecker-nick-kroll-kaitlin-olson-michael-pena-join-vacation-sequel-1201355174/
  14. http://theslanted.com/2014/09/16799/charlie-day-chris-hemsworth-last-of-vacation-confirmations-as-production-begins/
  15. http://www.onlocationvacations.com/2014/09/12/vacation-reboot-begins-filming-in-atlanta-next-week/
  16. 16.0 16.1 http://www.onlocationvacations.com/2014/09/15/the-vacation-reboot-starring-ed-helms-is-filming-in-midtown-atlanta-on-oct-6-oct-8/
  17. http://www.thetwelveoaks.com
  18. http://www.onlocationvacations.com/2014/10/14/photos-of-the-griswolds-on-the-vacation-reboot-set/%7Caccess-date=October 15, 2014
  19. http://www.projectcasting.com/casting-calls-and-auditions/vacation-reboot-casting-call-for-real-nurses-in-charlotte/
  20. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2015/07/27/vacation-movie-set-visit/30641673/
  21. http://jalopnik.com/the-fake-car-in-the-new-national-lampoons-vacation-movi-1716292241
  22. http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/honda-odyssey-touring-elite-vs-tartan-prancer-le.html
  23. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/movies/review-in-vacation-christina-applegate-and-ed-helms-travel-to-walley-world.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1
  24. https://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/29/vacation-ew-review
  25. http://entertainment.suntimes.com/movies/vacation/
  26. https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/vacation-20150729
  27. https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/08/03/box-office-top-20-mission-impossible-nets-555-million

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