Vegas Vacation: Movie Review

Just like running into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while, Vegas Vacation is full of nostalgia and good times. For over 15 years the Griswold family has held a special place in comedy, and Vegas Vacation ups the ante over the previous films with all the glitz, glamour and gambling that Las Vegas is famous for.

After losing a lot of money on the casino floor, Clark comes to realize that money can’t buy happiness and goes about trying to make things right. The second half of the movie is truly touching, as the family takes in an old man (Sid Caesar), who ends up being the good luck charm they were searching for. Movie-goers searching for a touching family comedy that’s long on the funnies should likewise take in Vegas Vacation, a movie with serious heart and genuine laughs.

Vegas Vacation film summary

The Griswolds are back, and read for some summer fun! A continuation of the immensely popular National Lampoon series features America’s favorite nuclear family, the Griswolds: father Clark (Chevy Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their children Rusty (Ethan Embry) and Audrey (Marisol Nichols). Vegas Vacation features the Griswolds going on yet another wacky vacation, this time to Sin City, Las Vegas. As the family packs into their station wagon to drive across the Nevada desert, only one thing is for sure, this vacation sure won’t go off without a hitch.

The family visits Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), who now lives in a former H-bomb test site. Before reaching Vegas city limits they visit the Hoover Dam, where Clark accidently creates a leak. The family’s luck seems to quickly change once they reach Sin City however as they win free tickets to a Sigfried and Roy concert, and Ellen is wooed by Wayne Newton (playing himself). When Clark gambles away the family savings at the Blackjack table, Ellen runs away with Newton, leaving Clark to fight for his wife and try to save the family vacation from becoming a disaster.

Does Vegas Vacation stack up in the National Lampoon series?

While Vegas Vacation was not attached to the National Lampoon franchise, that doesn’t take away from it being a part of the three prior “Vacation” films. The cast is all here and Chevy Chase is back as America’s favorite dad, Clark Griswold. For fans of the Vacation films, Vegas Vacation offers the laughs, gags and incredibly ridiculous situations that you’ve come to expect. This is a movie that is unapologetically fun, funny and light-hearted. It’s not often that we review a movie about Las Vegas that’s fit for the whole family, but Vegas Vacation certainly fits the bill.

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Vegas Vacation: Movie Review

More Info

Release Date 14 February 1997
Running Time 93 min
Genre Comedy
Director Stephen Kessler
Screenplay Elisa Bell (story, screenplay), Bob Ducsay (story)
with Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
Filmed in USA
Budget N/A

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