Who remembers Chevy Chase? What happened to that face of the 1980s? He did those Vacation movies and other not particularly brilliant, but somewhat amusing movies, such as Spies Like Us. The only thing you need to know about this movie is that it is a crude and inferior sequel to movies that were already second rate. And it has a Chevy Chase cameo. The rest of the movie is filled with shit jokes, pedo innuendo and plagiarism from other, superior movies. At least they kept the movie ‘R’ though, like its traditional ancestor’s DNA. Ain’t that something in this day and age?
How many times have we been through this crap trope? A bumbling head of the house (that would be the man/father), Rusty Griswald, played by Ed Helms, tries to reinvigorate his dysfunctional family and rekindle the flame with his wife by taking them on a road trip. Rusty is a beta male and by extension, so is his eldest son – who is bullied by his homophobic, foul mouthed youngest son. Evidently the remedy there is to cram them into an Albanian rental car and hit the road. We’re supposed to sympathise with the pressures endured by the father, wait, that’s how it was in the original movies, and Chevy Chase conveyed the mild suffering brilliantly.
That’s pretty much not what things are like here. We’re always two short steps away from some horrific Rob Schneider movie. In the middle of the movie for instance, considerable effort (by this movie’s standards) is spent building up to a gag. That gag and its pay off is a turd joke. This turd joke is followed by a dick joke. I really can’t convey how little I care for crap like this, too dumb to be offensive or sardonic, one way or the other. The film also borrows from the likes of Meet The Parents. Anyone remember when Owen Wilson’s hot-shot ex showed up to upstage Ben Stiller’s gormless Focker? That’s in there, only with Chris Hemsworth filling in for Wilson, and Helms filling in for Stiller. I also don’t like Helms. I don’t like his inability to wink at the camera, like Chase. That’s sorely missing here.
I expected this movie to be really, really bad. Instead it relies on clichés so rigidly that it manages to avoid any serious red cards, therefore it manages to be decidedly below average. One thing that helps is that the movie appears to not have gotten the politically correct memo, despite on the surface looking like a cuddly family movie. The film takes aim at some of the more ludicrous ‘PC’ idioms that have emerged recently. Those are to be found by the viewers themselves.