Vacation | DVD review - Ed Helms takes the wheel as a new Griswold clan heads for disaster

Vacation Skyler Gisondo Steele Stebbins Christina Applegate Ed Helms.jpg
(Image credit: Hopper Stone)
(Image credit: Hopper Stone)

Thirty-two years after National Lampoon’s Vacation, another Griswold clan hits the asphalt for sequel-cum-remake Vacation.

Ed Helms’ Rusty, grown up son of Chevy Chase’s hapless Clark, is the irrepressibly chipper dad at the wheel, determined to drag his jaded wife (Christina Applegate) and their two bickering sons – sensitive, guitar-strumming James (Skyler Gisondo) and psychotic, bullying younger brother Kevin (Steele Stebbins) – on a cross-country, family-bonding trip to Walley World, the first film’s amusement park destination.

Their hopeless vehicle, a clunky gas-guzzling Albanian minivan with angry-Korean sat nav, supplies some chuckles en route, but many will find the gross-out gags and even grosser paedophilia jokes less welcome.

Look out, though, for Thor’s Chris Hemsworth as Rusty’s farcically well-endowed weatherman brother-in-law and Leslie Mann as Rusty’s sister Audrey, plus cameos from Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, the original Griswold parents.

Certificate 15. Runtime 95 mins. Directors Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley 

Vacation is available on Blu- ray, DVD & Digital HD from Warner Bros. Entertainment.

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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.