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Vegas Vacation

Vegas Vacation (1997)



Average Rating: 3.2/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 54,009

My Rating

Movie Info

This is the fourth in a series of movies that began with National Lampoon's Vacation in 1983 and feature the family headed by Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) going on wacky vacations. This time, the Griswolds visit Las Vegas. Clark immediately goes to the blackjack table and starts blowing all his money, continually encouraged to spend more and more by a taunting dealer, Marty (Wallace Shawn). Ellen Griswold (Beverly D'Angelo) becomes smitten with the lounge singer Wayne Newton (playing himself),



Jul 8, 1998


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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (26) | DVD (3)

The subplots involving D'Angelo and Newton and Ethan Embry -- the Griswolds' son, who can't stop winning -- have their charms.

July 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A tepid fourth entry in the popular 1980s series that is decidedly showing its age.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To the legions who have returned as losers from the glitzy playgrounds of the Nevada desert can now be added the people responsible for Vegas Vacation.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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I'll lay you 3-to-1 odds that by the end of this flick even fans will be thinking that this wasn't a trip worth taking.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is nothing more memorable about Vegas Vacation than the flatness of the writing in Elisa Bell's script and the uninspired direction of first-timer Stephen Kessler.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first half hour in particular is clogged with wheezing routines that appear to have no punchlines.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite Chevy Chase's decent effort trying to revive the Griswold franchise, VEGAS VACATION is just a big disappointment. This one could have just premiered on TV, as it resembles that sort of mediocrity.

May 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Lame National Lampoon with usual innuendo, drinking.

December 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

...the Griswolds bring down the house.

August 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

It's a bad sign when National Lampoon wants its name out of the title.

July 21, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The fourth and weakest trip with the hapless Griswolds.

October 6, 2005
Fantastica Daily

A high colonic for the brain.

July 5, 2004

Stay home!

September 21, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

It's simply so lacking in attempts at humor that Chase might have had a better chance at coming up with a winner playing a slot machine.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It's not really awful - it's just dull.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The central idea of the series -- even normal families aren't normal -- apparently isn't completely exhausted yet. I'm surprised at how much I liked this film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

So far from funny it's actually painful to sit through.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Vegas Vacation

The Griswolds are back, and this is easily their worst vacation yet. I don't think it's as awful as some do, but yeah, it is really dumb, tired, dull, and overly reliant on formula. And also devoid of contributing anything new.

I still give it some credit though, because it does have its moments, even though I really don't want it to continue after this.

Featuring new kids but the same parents (a series tradition), Clark decides to take the family to Vegas where, besides having lots of fun, he also plans to renew his wedding vows to Ellen.

As you'd expect, all sorts of trouble and shenanigans ensue, all of them with predictable results, but at least this time each Griswold had their own subplot, which doesn't often happen.

The movie does have a decent amount of laughs, but it's definitely more misses than hits. At least Quaid is back, and we do get some great cameos and special appearances, most notably Wayne Newton and Wallace Shawn to save things, so that's good I guess.

Overall though, this is just run-of-the-mill blah, and nothing really all that special.
December 21, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Hmmm losing the appeal here, nice idea and nice touches here and there, Chase still makes me laugh as does Randy Quaid as 'Eddie' but the comedy is becoming a bit forced now.
Just about acceptable on the whole, best scene...'Clarke' tells a porky to wife 'Ellen' about not being hooked on gambling, then proceeds to leave the room go downstairs to the gambling den, using a cam shot following his progress, places a bet, loses, lets out the most hilarious grimace of frustration and then proceeds to run back upstairs to 'Ellen' LOL!

That is pretty much the best sequence and funny moment in the entire film with some good old fashioned facial humour from Chase, the rest is rather mundane to be honest but you could still do worse.
April 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

Follow-up to Christmas Vacation isn't as funny as I'd hope it would have been. The film is a decent enough comedy with quite a few laughs; unfortunately, it is not as memorable as Christmas Vacation, which in my opinion is a comedy classic. But despite its imperfections this is a decent comedy film. However it's clear that the producers were running out of ideas. I think it's a great shame because this film could have been memorable. I found the film to be quite funny at times, but it lacked something to really make it special. Like I said, this isn't Christmas Vacation. Most of the jokes are tired, unimpressive and original. It's a great waste of Chevy Chase. As this is the fourth entry in the Vacation series, it's clear that the producers have run out of ideas and are trying to deliver a good film, unfortunately, it's to mixed results. The film is at times funny, and does bring on a few chuckles, but it's pretty minor to previous Vacation films. I think the series should have stopped at Christmas Vacation. What's really a shame here is that the concept of the Griswold family spending a vacation in Vegas is a good idea for a film; unfortunately the result is only a decent comedy with a few laughs here and there. Vegas Vacation will likely disappoint fans of the previous films in the series as it's clear that the screenwriters have run out of ideas. This film could have been memorable, but ends up being only decent.
November 24, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

I would like to dedicate this slap in the face to everyone who works for deciding the Golden Raspberry Awards. Come on, now. They have the nerve to nominate Stanley Kubrick for Worst Director for his fabulous work on THE SHINING, but they can't give VEGAS VACATION one single nomination? I'm left to assume, then, that every Golden Raspberry-er was too smart to go out and see this.

VEGAS VACATION has a plot that is hinted at by the title, in near fullness. Of course, it's inevitable that there are going to be two new actors for Audrey and Rusty, but who knew that neither of them would look like any of the previous actors? And the girl looks like she's from a foreign, Asian country!

Aside from the unbelief of VEGAS VACATION, it's not funny, either. It tries, but it fails, because the farthest it can go with humor is a joke made by Rusty about wanting to meet prostitutes in Las Vegas (that's not how he acted in the first three films); a wordplay scene using "dam" as a double entendre for "damn"; and a scene in which Clark disastrously turns much of his body blue (and it stays that way for quite a while).

Seriously. If you need to keep all the raunch in from the other three films to make this funny, do it! Lowering it down to a PG rating will do nothing but make it unfunny--and National Lampoon doesn't produce family films to begin with, do they? I guess that's why this is the only "Vacation" film thus far (and hopefully for good) not to be sponsored by the organization.
October 22, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Rusty Griswold: Holy crap, Wayne Newton's hittin' on mom.
    – Submitted by Jared B (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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