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The Chive


   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.


This one goes out to all the fucknoramuses who bitch and whine and fill comments sections with endless moaning about how Hollywood today only makes sequels and remakes and reboots and how it's sucking all the creative life force out of the movie industry.  "Won't somebody please think of the audiences?!" they cry. 

Boo-fucking-hoo, you shortsighted shitheels.

It's not like this is a new phenomenon.  Sure, reboots and remakes are more popular than fake tits and hair transplants in Tinseltown these days, but the bane of the sequel has been with us for the better part of a generation.  Studios have known for decades that the fastest route to an easy buck is to puke out a second or third or fourth rehash of even though most mildly successful flick.

Case in point, the  Vacation  series.  If I had a dollar for every time during the past few months I've heard someone say, "I can't believe they're remaking Vacation!" I'd have enough money for a happy ending at the Crouching Tigress Hidden Pickle massage parlor.  But before I pay a visit to my favorite masseuse of the Asian persuasion, Suk-Mi, how about a quick history lesson?

National Lampoon's Vacation was released in 1983.  In it, Clark Griswold (Chevy "6' 9" With The Afro" Chase) takes his family - wife Ellen (Beverly "Nice Pipes" D'Angelo), son Rusty (Anthony Michael "Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebie" Hall) and daughter Audrey (Dana "Red" Barron) - on a cross-country road trip to visit the Disneyland-like Walley World.  It was a middlin' funny movie with a few quotable lines.

Mostly on the strength of Chase's comic charm and D'Angelo's funbags, Vacation made enough money that two years later the Griswold's were back for National Lampoon's European Vacation.  It was basically the same movie over again but set in England, France and Germany.  It delivered fewer laughs and no quotable bits at all, but it, too, made enough money for the studio bosses to greenlight another sequel.

1989 spawned National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which is only the most popular entry in the series because it pimps out Santa, electrocutes a cat and turns Chase's character into a full-blown raving lunatic.

Next came National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation in 1997.  As you'd expect three sequels after a forgettable original, Vegas Vacation blew more than Siegried and Roy, but even it didn't kill the series.  That honor goes to 2003's made-for-TV National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure.  I shitter you not.

Now, 32 years after the Griswold's first piled into the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, grown-up son Rusty (Ed Helms "Deep") decides to take his own family - wife Debbie (Christina "Forever Kelly Bundy" Applegate), sensitive son James (Skyler "Buttwhistle" Gisondo) and future serial killer son Kevin ("Real" Steele Stebbins) - on the exact same road trip to Walley World.  Such is Vacation

Saying Helms is no Chase is like saying a pebble is no second moon of Endor.  Where Chase had sarcastic confidence mixed with blissful cluelessness, Helms just has his already-tired loser schlub schtick.  Applegate could have been a reasonable stand-in for D'Angelo, but the script has zero fucking idea what to do with her.  Like I said before, the original was no work of genius, but the jokes this time around are even lazier and less frequent with the only ones landing either belonging to cameo characters or already having been spoiled in the ads and trailers.

You will definitely not be whistling "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" out of your assholes after this Vacation.