Sequel Saturday: Go Go Griswold Sequel!, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Warner Bros. just debuted the trailer for Vacation, the latest film in their venerable raunchy comedy series which started back in 1984 with National Lampoon’s Vacation. They must be quite confident about the picture; they bumped the date up from October to July 2015. In the grand tradition of recent reboot quasi-remakes, the plot involves Rusty wanting to take his family on the same vacation his Dad took them on when he was a child. Chevy Chase (Goose on the Loose) and Beverly D’Angelo (Lightning Jack) reprise their roles as the elder statesmen of the Griswold clan. Ed Helms (Meet Dave) and Leslie Mann (George of the Jungle) play Rusty and Audrey Griswold this time around.
I flipped on the trailer and was skeptical, but came away pretty impressed. This film almost didn’t happen due to a dispute between writer-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and Warner Bros. over the tone of the film. The former wanted an R rating in the vein of the first two flicks (National Lampoon’s European Vacation had an R rating in its original theatrical release, which was later appealed down to PG-13 for later home video releases) while the latter wanted a softer PG-13 rating. Based on the trailer, the harder tone won out.
There’s a nice lightness to the tone in the midst of rim job and penis jokes. From the trailer, it appears Chevy Chase will only pop up in the movie for a scene or two. Comedic stalwarts and a certain superhero movie actor pop up in several fun cameos. I hope the film includes some solid emotional moments that actually work. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation had a memorable sequence where Clark Griswold gets locked in an attic and stumbles across some old home movies of himself as a child. It worked both as a comedic moment and as a scene of character growth. Of course, it ended with Griswold getting released and falling through the ceiling. Gotta end on a gag.