The red-band trailer for the Vacation reboot leaves us scratching our heads because of one glaring discrepancy from the original films, but Chris Hemsworth’s special appearance might be enough to distract us.
The premise of the latest sequel in the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise is that Rusty, now grown with a family of his own, decides he must recreate that fateful trip to Wally World with his own kids and wife (played by Christina Applegate). Things obviously do not go well.
Our problem? Rusty’s character in the new movie, played by Ed Helms, seems too far removed from who he was as a kid that it leaves us cold. Old Rusty was already world-weary as a teen, a smart aleck who subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) shaded the less clueless around him, his father in particular.
But grown-up Rusty seems to be the antithesis of this. He comes across as goofy, bumbling and a little dopey — nothing close to the man we thought that teen would grow up to be. And while yes, we all change dramatically from the people we were as teenagers, this huge personality shift isn’t quite believable.
We would have love, love, loved to have seen Anthony Michael Hall reprise his role in this reboot, but one of the biggest jokes of the film series is that the Griswold siblings were always played by different actors, leading their father Clark (played by Chevy Chase, who is reprising his role) to comment on how they need to spend more time together because he hardly recognizes them. However, Hall did agree to come back to the role in 2012 for an Old Navy holiday commercial, so at least we have that memory.
But Chris Hemsworth’s very, very special appearance more than makes up for it.
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