Friday, April 21, 2017

National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)

Director: Amy Heckerling

Writers: John Hughes, Robert Klane

Composer: Charles Fox

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively, John Astin, Sheila Kennedy, Paul Bartel, Cynthia Szigeti, Robbie Coltrane, Eric Idle, William Zabka

More info: IMDb

Tagline: For over two thousand years, Europe has survived many great disasters. Now for the real test... The Griswold's.

Plot: The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

It's fucked up that I still haven't seen the first Vacation movie except for a few scenes yet I've seen this one and VEGAS VACATION (1997) twice.  There are very few funny moments and most of what's funny is mildly amusing at best.  The hour and a half drags much to often and many scenes overstay their welcome.  The cast gives it their all but the movie just sits there flat.  The best gag in the movie and my biggest laugh is the Frisbee toss off the Eiffel Tower.  OK, I'm starting to not care for Chase in this role.  It's a one dimensional character but he's just not selling it as lively and fun as I'd like.  Sue me.  I miss the charismatic Chevy from FOUL PLAY (1978), SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES (1980) and FLETCH (1985).  Pacing is a serious issue and there aren't enough good gags to sustain the 95 minute run time.  The European location is a big bonus but it's hardly enough to make it worthwhile.  I won't be watching this one again.  It's a damn shame that this franchise isn't better because it's loaded with potential.  The Warner Bros. DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print.  The only extras are a commentary track with Chevy Chase, dry as usual, trying to be funny.  He's at his best when he's serious and talks about the making of the picture.  Other than that you get an anamorphic widescreen trailer.

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