National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997) starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Ethan Embry, Marisol Nichols, Wayne Newton, Sid Caesar directed by Stephen Kessler Movie Review

National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation (1997)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ethan Embry, Marisol Nichols, Beverly D'Angelo and Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation

Vacating Vegas

As the last of the official "National Lampoon .... Vacation" movies, although I am sure another will follow, "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation" is not a terrible movie and is certainly not the worse one in the series but at the same time it's by no means as good as the first "National Lampoon's Vacation". Although again revolving around the Griswold's on vacation the road trip element has for the most been discarded with and revolves around the turmoil's whilst holidaying in Las Vegas. As such it is very much like what we've had before with Clark ending up in numerous moments of comedy trouble as well as Ellen, Rusty and Audrey all having troubles themselves.

The Griswold's are on vacation again and this time they are heading for Vegas. But with the bright lights of the city comes trouble especially when Clark (Chevy Chase) becomes addicted to gambling. If that wasn't bad enough his wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) has become the object of showman Wayne Newton's affections, Rusty (Ethan Embry) having got a fake ID has got in with some gangster types and having met up with Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family Audrey (Marisol Nichols) has gone off the rails.

Wayne Newton and Beverly D'Angelo in National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation

In a strange way "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation" doesn't have much of a storyline or at least one which is that important. It's more of a movie about situations as it focuses on Clark getting carried away with gambling, Ellen being wined and Dined by Wayne Newton, Rusty getting in with some gangster style characters and Audrey going wild as a dancer. As such there is a weakness to it and that it is it ends up being repetitive almost revolving around a series of jokes which to start with, such as Clark being lured by the card tables, are amusing but grow boring and repetitive the longer they go on.

Although strangely, despite not having much of a storyline and suffering from being repetitive it is quite amusing. Chevy Chase is on fine form again as Clark and provides plenty of merriment as his gambling gets seriously carried away. But it is the sub stories, the other moments of humour, such as Ellen again played brilliantly by Beverly D'Angelo being courted by Wayne Newton, Rusty getting a fake ID and becoming a hit on the gambling tables and Audrey being lead a stray by her cousin. In fact as has become a tradition, and a joke in itself, we have new people playing Rusty and Audrey and Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols do pretty well to make the characters their own. Although they look so different to previous actors who have taken on the roles makes it a little hard going. Adding to the mirth is Randy Quaid who returns as Cousin Eddie with all the trailer trash sophistication we've seen before.

Although saying that it is quite amusing is at times being quite generous because the humour is firmly in the realms of being daft. There is very little cleverness to any of the jokes and although they make you laugh it's the sort of humour that you enjoy once and then grow out of.

What this all boils down to is that "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation" is entertaining to a point but ends up being repetitive with the same jokes being used over and over again. It's not the worst of these "National Lampoon's .... Vacation" movies and will make you smile more than just a few times but it's not the best either and frankly is nothing more than average comedy revolving around various situations.