Vacation, written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, is a continuation of the series made famous by Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. The movie features Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gizondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Charlie Day, Catherine Missal, Ron Livingston, Norman Reedus, Keegan-Michael Key, and Regina Hall.
Rusty Griswold (Helms) has been taking his family on the same vacation for years and, after the prompting of his family, decides to switch things up and relive one of the most memorable trips of his youth. Yes, he is taking the family on a cross country trip to Wally World! During the trip, all kinds of funny stuff happens to them and they learn a bunch of things about themselves and each other.
Honestly, there really isn't a whole lot to say about this movie as it is a pretty basic trip down memory lane for both the characters in the movie and the audience who might fondly remember the original. Aside from the overarching narrative of the road trip, this is basically a bunch of sketch comedy bits thrown together in a very loose and free fashion. We get all the normal pratfalls and hi-jinks one might expect if you were to watch a couple episodes of Saturday Night Live and that includes the really bad skits you wish had been cut from the show. There really wasn't much effort here to make a good, solid movie, it was all about stringing together punchlines and hoping for the best.
Vacation ultimately depends on it's cast and the franchise name to carry the load here and, while Helms and Applegate are both really funny, the material they are given to work with just isn't good enough to make this much more than a straight to video release. That being said, this movie is sure to make just enough money to warrant keeping the franchise alive so here's to seeing a much better effort from future installments.
As an alternative, I would recommend We're the Millers which is very similar only a hundred times better.