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"VEGAS VACATION"
(1997) (Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Mild None *Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Minor Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Minor Minor Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A family takes their vacation in Las Vegas.
PLOT:
The Griswald family goes on vacation again, this time to Las Vegas. Father Clark (CHEVY CHASE), mother Ellen (BEVERLY D'ANGELO) and kids Rusty (ETHAN RANDALL) and Audrey (MARISOL NICHOLS) head off to the land of sand, slots, and the Hoover dam. Once there, Clark gets addicted to gambling, Ellen to entertainer Wayne Newton (playing himself), Audrey hangs out with her wild, dancer cousin and Rusty becomes a young "high roller." As Clark's addiction grows he must deal not only with that, but also with their white trash cousin, Eddie (RANDY QUAID), and his family who now live on an abandoned nuclear test facility.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they liked any of the other three films in the series, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sensuality, language and thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHEVY CHASE plays a somewhat absent minded father who becomes addicted to gambling.
  • ETHAN RANDALL plays the son who also becomes a gambler although he's underage.
  • MARISOL NICHOLS plays the daughter who learns to be wild from her cousin and becomes a dancer in a nightclub.
  • RANDY QUAID plays the white trash cousin who drinks beer all of the time and usually dresses inappropriately for the occasion.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
    This is the fourth and least entertaining of the movies in the "Vacation" series. Plodding along as more of a travelogue for the city of Las Vegas and its attractions than as an actual movie, one can only hope that this will be the last vacation the Griswald clan takes. Of course if there is another one, hopefully it will be titled something like, "Straight to Video Vacation." Don't get us wrong, the original film in the series was a silly, but very amusing flick. As the series has moved along, however, the actors and actresses playing the kids have changed every time and the humor quotient has equally changed for the worst. In this movie, long sequences with Vegas' Siegfried and Roy, Wayne Newton, and the Hooever dam go on forever and just aren't that funny. A little of Quaid's take as the white trash cousin goes a long way and unfortunately there's too much of it here. And scenes that may have looked amusing on paper, such as a casino where you bet on "Rock, scissors, paper" and "Heads or tails" comes off as comically inane on screen. Similarly, watching Chase try to fill water springing holes under the Hoover dam with chewing gum makes you long for the days of "I Love Lucy" when absurd physical comedy really was hilarious. There are just too many scenes that are supposed to be funny, but simply are not. If you're a die-hard fan of this series, we suppose it's possible that you'll enjoy this film, but it is comedy of the weakest sorts. We suggest that you rent the original or perhaps take a vacation of your own, but pass on this one. We give it just a 2 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There isn't a great deal to object to in this film that probably won't be a draw to younger kids anyway. What is there isn't meant to be taken one hundred percent at face value, but whether your kids will realize that depends on their age and maturity. There is a moderate amount of drinking, and Audrey appears to be hung over after a party although she's not seen drinking at it. Those concerned with gambling should note that Clark becomes addicted to it, while Rusty wins several cars using a fake i.d. Sexual content is mild and is limited to innuendo and profanity isn't any worse than what you'd hear on prime time TV. There is a scene where Clark inexplicably climbs up an electrical tower and then hangs and swings on a power line, all of which is played for laughs. Obviously, younger kids might get the wrong impression about the dangers of electricity. As always, we suggest that you read through the scene listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for you or your kids.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Young ladies hold bottles of beer while standing up through the sunroof of a limo.
  • Clark drinks a tropical cocktail in their hotel room and then later in the pool.
  • Eddie drinks a beer in nearly every scene he's in and Clark joins him for one.
  • People in the backgrounds of certain shots drink.
  • Ellen and Wayne have drinks, and later drink wine with lunch and dinner.
  • Audrey goes to a party where she's handed a beer, but she isn't seen drinking it. The next morning, however, she acts as if she's hung over.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • One could look at Clark's gambling away of the family's savings as a bit of both (but none of this is meant to be taken seriously).
  • Eddie steals some dinner roles from a buffet.
  • Clark and Eddie steal a tour bus and head off to find their family.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Left with only five dollars at a ten-dollar minimum table, Clark asks the dealer what he should do. The dealer responds, "I don't know. Buy a bullet and rent a gun."
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Clark absentmindedly drives through stop signs and up and over sidewalks while reading a Las Vegas brochure.
  • Clark gambles quit a bit (and loses a lot of money) while Rusty plays only a few times and wins four cars in the process.
  • Rusty uses a fake i.d. to gamble in the casinos.
  • Phrases: "Jerk," "Shut up," and "Nuts" (testicles).
  • Audrey stands up through the sunroof of their limo and we see other young women doing the same in another limo. Later, young ladies are seen standing up in the back of a moving pickup truck.
  • Eddie belches loudly after finishing a beer.
  • Eddie's son has nearly pierced his whole face, including his ears, nose, lips, eyebrow and forehead (Obviously meant to be a spoof of those who pierce more than their ears).
  • Clark climbs up an electricity tower (for unknown reasons) and then falls, but grabs a hold of the power line. All of this is played for intended laughs and may give kids the wrong impression about climbing such towers or touching power lines.
  • Audrey sees her cousin dancing on top of a Vegas sign and then climbs on top of one herself and begins dancing.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Wayne Newton sings a song to Ellen with the lyrics, "...making love to you, is all I want to do..."
  • PROFANITY
  • 8 damns (most as a play on the word "dam"), 5 hells, 2 craps, and 9 uses of "Oh my God," 3 uses of "Oh God," and 1 use each of "God damn" and "Oh my Lord" used as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Rusty asks his dad, "Isn't there legalized prostitution?" (in Las Vegas), and Clark responds, "Not inside the city limits."
  • Clark tells Ellen "...there's a special club we can join if you meet me in the bathroom" while they're aboard a plane. He's hinting at being someone who's had sex on a plane. The two later meet in the small lavatory, but it's cramped quarters lead only to bumbling and fumbling and no nudity or sexual activity is seen.
  • Clark tells Rusty, "Don't think unnatural thoughts about your cousin" as she shows them her dance moves around a pole in the desert (like a stripper, but without nudity or sexual movements).
  • Some young ladies are seen in skimpy bikinis around a pool.
  • There's a very brief scene where Clark tries to talk about sex to Rusty by saying things like "There comes a time in every young man's life when he enters the garden of fragrant flowers..." but Rusty says he already knows about that and the discussion ends there.
  • Rusty stares at the bare breasts on a gold masthead-like statue.
  • Ellen asks Clark, "Are you feeling lucky tonight?" but he's too absorbed in a TV program to notice her.
  • Audrey and her cousin dance in cages at the "Club Areola," but no nudity or sexual movement is seen.
  • SMOKING
  • Wayne Newton smokes a cigar.
  • Eddie smokes a cigar.
  • Young women in the back of a pickup truck smoke.
  • People in the backgrounds of certain shots smoke.
  • A Vegas "high roller" who befriends Rusty smokes a cigar. Later at a party, Rusty holds a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The family does begin to spend more time doing things separately then together and Ellen gets mad at Clark, but it never gets very serious.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Gambling.
  • Family vacations and how they can be fun (if your kids think they aren't).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear the sound of Ellen punching Clark after he says "Hit me" (as in the game of Blackjack).
  • A blackjack dealer, noticing Clark's run of bad luck, tells him, "Why don't you give me half the money, we'll go out back, I'll kick you in the nuts and we'll call it a day."
  • Clark drives a tour bus through the wall at Wayne Newton's house.



  • Reviewed February 14, 1997

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