Time: 93 mins.
SYNOPSIS: The Griswolds head off for Las Vegas to celebrate Clark's extra bonus for developing a food preservative. Once they arrive everyone goes their separate ways, each encountering more trouble than they can handle, testing the bonds of their family yet again.
BOTTOM LINE: Chase's years on SNL proved he's clever, witty and an adept physical comedian. So, I'm continually stumped as to why none of the films he's made in the last decade encompass any of those qualities. The VACATION series started out as harmless family fun and has degenerated into crass, mindless drivel. It seems fitting that this time around the series changed locations to the most gaudy and soulless place on Earth.
What begins for the Griswalds as a pleasant family outing quickly turns into an utter disaster. Surprise, surprise. I know the point of these films is for them to turn on each other and then reunite at the end, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It would also help if the filmmakers even remotely tried to make the story original or entertaining. Just like Vegas, the idea of the film is way better than the actual reality.
Perhaps if the characters were at all likable this would go down better, but after spending even a few minutes with them it becomes quite clear why things rarely go their way. In fact, the more miserable their situation became, the happier I was. The only cast member to keep a shred of dignity was Beverly D'Angelo. Chase tries to be endearing and the effort shows. Every moment of this films screams, "Look how funny this is," yet never, ever convinces. An utter waste of time.