Vegas Vacation (1997)

(On DVD, February 2017) As the fourth entry in an uneven series, Vegas Vacation is no more and no less than average. The chuckles are there as the Griswold family takes a trip to Las Vegas, but the film struggles to have anything akin to the memorable sequences of the previous films. While better than European Vacation, it doesn’t reach the comedy heights of Christmas Vacation, nor attains the archetypical Americana of the first film. Chevy Chase’s doofus-dad character is very familiar by now, and if Beverly d’Angelo only seems to become more attractive with age, her character doesn’t have much to do except flirt with Wayne Newton. Some sequences are terrible (such as the Hoover Dam segment) while others are mildly amusing (such as the boy being an incredibly lucky gambler). The ending, appropriately enough for a final movie in a series, triumphantly sends off the Griswold family in the sunset with a drive home that could have been a movie in its own right. By far the most average and featureless film in the series, Vegas Vacation is worth a look if it’s in the same DVD case as the other movies of the series—otherwise, well, there are funnier film out there.

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