Vacation

Wretched revival of the comedy franchise that began with 1983's "National Lampoon's Vacation." In an effort to shake up his family's summer routine, the now-grown son (Ed Helms) of the original outing embarks with his wife (Christina Applegate) and quarrelsome kids (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) on a road trip to the same California amusement park that served as the destination for that long-ago initial journey. While the clan's travels are beset by a variety of disasters, the real calamity befalls viewers who find themselves dragged along on a forced march through a landscape of tastelessness unrelieved by laughs. Co-writers and -directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley try to disguise their steamy material by cloaking it in family values, including the parents' shared commitment to maintaining the vibrancy of their marriage. But scenes of enthusiastic exhibitionism, together with obscenities uttered by a child and jokes about AIDS and pedophilia, make the underlying rot unmistakable.

Watch out for: Pervasive sexual and extreme scatological humor, frontal male and upper female nudity, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, constant rough and crude language.

Rated: O, morally offensive; MPAA: R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015