National Lampoon European Vacation Film Review

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Clark Griswold and his family are on a game show where they win the star prize a holiday and trip around Europe. Both Clint and Ellen are thrilled about this but the children are not as they would rather stay at home. The family pack up and head to the airport to start their vacation. Upon arriving in Europe they find things are not as rosy as they thought they would be and are rather disappointed with the accommodation. They try to make the best of it but once they rent a car things go from bad to worse.

The Griswold’s start by driving on the wrong side of the road and have several crashes and then things just go from bad to worse for them. Can the Griswold’s make a good family holiday or will they be overjoyed to be returning home?

I have enjoyed the previous National Lampoon films and found they have always been easy to watch and have had some good laughs in so when hubby mentioned this one I decided to give it a go as I had never seen it. Unfortunately for me it was just one sequel too far. The story was very boring and nothing really happened, we spent the whole film following them across Europe with no real purpose and for me the gags were very old and just not funny.

The lead role of Clark was played by Chevy Chase and he was probably the best one of the lot. He came back to play the part just as he had in the previous films and he was a good strong characters. He delivered his lines well and had the best comic timing. He was slightly daft at times and a bit dumb but I did manage to see past this as this is how he has been in the other films. He did work well with the role of Ellen, played by Beverly D’Angelo. There was a good connection between the couple and they made their marriage seem real. I enjoyed the fact that the same actors had returned for these role. The same cannot be said for the children, Audrey and Rusty were two completely new actors in this film, they were played by Dana Hill and Jason Lively. I really could not warm to these two characters and felt they spent the whole time moaning and being grumpy. They could have bought a lot more to the story had they been given more to work with as they were only put into the background and given very basic side stories.

There were a few good support characters in the film who really managed to bring some much needed humour. We also got a few which were not good. I did not like the way they portrayed the English as very well spoken and at the mercy of the Americans. One small role was played by Eric Idle and I just felt he had lowered his standard completely in this film and did not like how he came across. We also had appearances from Mel Smith and Robbie Coltrane but again they were not good ones and they had not been able to give as good as they could.

Despite the fact that this film takes us across Europe I was disappointed not to have seen more of the different countries and landscapes. The few which we did have were ok but nothing special and I would have liked to have seen more of the major landmarks from the different countries. It was not always easy to see which country we were currently in and for me I had to try ad work this out from some of the bad accents which we got. The special effects were also of a low standard, I could clearly see some very badly added backdrops throughout the film and thought they could have worked harder on making them look more natural and real. There were a few stunts and they were slightly better but again they all seemed like ones we had seen many times before and nothing was new or original.

The jokes were coming thick and fast in this film but they too seemed all old and dated. The visual ones were slightly better but they did verge on being daft for the majority of the film. I also felt the overall feel of this film was very dated now and I just looked old fashioned, this was mainly from the clothes and props we had. The soundtrack was also quite dated and nothing special and I am now not able to remember a single track which was used.

This is a film only review so no there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 95 minutes and the rate is a 15. I think the rate is suitable and this may appeal more to the teenage market as they might find the jokes slightly funnier.

I am only able to give this film 2 stars and I am not able to recommend it. For me the jokes were just to old and already been done so many times before. The acting was only average from the leads and the children were very weak. I have given one extra star for the use of some British actors but again they were only given dull parts to play. I do not recommend wasting time on this film and certainly not paying to see it. Just one sequel too far in my eyes.




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