CME – Movie #26 – Christmas Vacation 2

December 13, 2016

I have a philosophy. Well… HAD more like. That was never give up on a movie. Stick it out to the bitter end. I find as I get older my patience has ended and now I give a movie 25 minutes. Now a movie has to be really REALLY bad for me to quit. I watch a lot of films and I can count on ONE HAND the number I’ve given up on and quit in the last 3 years.

Which brings me to this… Thing. I should have known better. The first Christmas Vacation is an absolute classic. Chevy Chase is a comedic genius. Beverly De Angelo (I can never spell her name!) is gorgeous, and terrific as the long suffering wife. It has Johnny Galecki, who I was a huge fan of before he sold his soul to Chuck Lorre. Juliette Lewis… JULIETTE FREAKIN’ LEWIS! Amazing supporting cast. Commits to the gags. (The cat.) Comedic situations are organic and while far fetched make sense. In short it’s a terrific movie.

Then there’s this cinematic abomination. I say cinematic but I very much doubt it saw the inside of a movie theater unless it came in on the sole of someones shoe.

I should have known. A movie based on Cousin freakin’ Eddie played by Randy Quaid, who if you didn’t know is COMPLETELY NUTS now. The mental acuity of the actor aside, Cousin Eddie was always the weak point of the series, only providing two real laughs. (I’m trying to stay family friend this year so can’t even say the iconic line from the first Christmas Vacation…)

I figured I’d give it a chance though. Movie starts out badly with Eddie having a kid… Who is perfectly normal and smart. So nothing we’ve ever seen before. Then we cut to Eddie, losing his job to a chimp because the chimp is smarter… HO HO! SUCH COMEDY!

It goes downhill from there. Yes, there is actually a lower place. There is a comedic set piece with a broken tap in the bathroom. With Chevy in front, and John Hughes behind this would have probably been an hysterical comedic set piece. However with Quaid in front and god knows who behind it’s just played out with no finesse, ability or soul. And it drags on. And on. And on. The secret of comedy is knowing when to go, and when to stay. Clearly nobody involved realised this and let’s this gag beat itself to death.

Which brings us to the main issue. Christmas Vacation pulls you in immediately with the car scene. There are at least 2-3 good laughs in the opening few minutes. Twenty five minutes into Christmas Vacation 2 I hadn’t laughed once.

I have to draw the line somewhere. There must be an end point. There must be a level below which I will not drop. A bare minimum entertainment line a movie MUST meet to even warrant being allowed, let alone viewed.

Christmas Vacation 2 is so far below that line I can’t even see it. No soul, no character, no finesse. Just some random images thrown onto a screen in the name of Christmas.

This movie gets nothing. No, not even ZERO because I’ve rated other movies that before, and implied that there is no lower place to go.

Sadly there is. And Christmas Vacation 2 found it.

 

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