Vegas Vacation - 1/2*

The Griswold family returns for a third Vacation sequel, hitting miles below the humor of the original, and even below the lesser Christmas Vacation. This time Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) take their kids (played this time around by Ethan Randall and Marisol Nichols) to Las Vegas. Each member of the Griswold family has their own adventure: Clark is determined to win at gambling, or lose the family’s savings trying. Ellen is infatuated by Wayne Newton. Rusty is on a quest to pass himself off as 21 in order to gamble. And Audrey enters the world of exotic dancing. Of course as other diversions, there’s Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) to annoy the Griswolds, and Hoover Dam provides a national monument to deface. Most of the jokes in Vegas Vacation are as tired as Chevy Chase seems to be. The film might well have been composed of the unfunny outtakes of the prior Vacation series. Somewhere along the way, the filmmakers lost sight of what made the original Vacation funny. It wasn’t the actual goal…but the journey. Now, for Vegas Vacation, they plop the Griswolds down in sin city in a little under 5 minutes, and the rest of the film is left to wallow in humor that’s somewhat below a tired sitcom’s on-the-road episode. Don’t waste your money on this one…rent Vacation, or Christmas Vacation…heck, go ahead and rent European Vacation before wasting your time with Vegas.

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