National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure Reviews
To be continued........
This is a typical Lampoons movie. Definitely inferior to the one. (And that isn't all that great either, so make of that what you will).. So-so characters. A few laughs, but only a few. The rottweiler and monkey just about steal the show. This is pretty lame and tired.
Christmas is probably the only time this is acceptable, but even then I would stay stick with the first one unless this is on tv to watch free!
VERDICT: "Some Ole' Bulls**t" - Second lowest rating in the system (Negative reaction). These films are truly terrible films. They are not the worst things ever made, but they are definitely awful and should not be seen by anyone.
Ostensibly determined to defecate on one of its most respectable commodities, National Lampoon have begat the abominable, pointless and brain-dead Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. Hoping to get extra mileage out of the Vacation series (which stopped being interesting during the '80s), those responsible for Christmas Vacation 2 dredged up a few familiar faces and placed them in the midst of this plotless, excruciatingly unfunny bedsore of a movie...which is also tagged as a direct sequel to arguably the most beloved Vacation film - 1989's Christmas Vacation - despite the fact it was part three of a four-part film series. Sorry if this doesn't make sense to anyone...
Like most sequels of this ilk, Christmas Vacation 2 bears the stink of being born out of greed and actor desperation. Not even the hopelessly washed-up Chevy Chase needed the work this badly. But Randy Quaid was obviously sick of eating dog food and living in a cardboard box, so he takes centre stage here.
In the film, Cousin Eddie (Quaid) is fired from his job in favour of a monkey. But to avoid a lawsuit when this aforementioned monkey bites Eddie, the company offers him an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for Christmas. Since most of the jokes are derived from the fact that Eddie is unrealistically stupid, he takes this holiday rather than suing the company for thousands of dollars. With his wife Catherine (Flynn), son "Third" (Thompson), uncle Nick (Asner) and nephew Audrey (Barron, reprising the role 20 years after she played it) in tow, Eddie heads to the beaches of Hawaii. Following a boat accident so hackneyed and unfunny that it's not worth describing, everyone becomes stranded on a deserted island where they play Gilligan's Island and refuse to make you laugh for about an hour. What ensues is a string of unrelated, laugh-free "comedy" set-pieces until Eddie and company are eventually rescued. The end. Oh, and while on the island they throw an "Island Christmas" at the insistence of their brain-challenged guide who has one of those overly convoluted foreign names just so everyone can mispronounce it.
Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure sucks hard. Oh, so terribly, terribly hard. Not a single laugh escaped this reviewer's wired-shut jaw. Not a single giggle, chortle, or smirk. The filmmakers tried to get laughs. They threw in slapstick, one-liners, sight gags, crazy monkeys, Fred Willard and dirty old men...but to no avail. The end result is as funny and agonising as a pipe wrench to the testicles. It speaks volumes about the quality of the writing when the only sequence with potential for a laugh was one in which Eddie uses the stench of his dog Snots (who farts frequently, of course) to get through the long airport line in a matter of seconds. Matty Simmons, who was the producer of all four Vacation movies, was the screenwriter for Christmas Vacation 2, despite having no previous screenwriting credits. His inexperience is oh-so-obvious. The film was directed by Nick Marck; a television director who has helmed episodes of such TV shows as The Wonder Years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. In spite of his impressive prior efforts, Marck shows no sense of comic timing and has crafted an unbelievably dull motion picture. The screenplay itself was a dud, but Marck's incompetent direction only made it worse.
The primary reason for this movie's failure is the premise of shaping it around Cousin Eddie. Sure, the Griswold saga has run its course, but an Eddie-centric spin-off is hardly an effective solution. It's also hardly a way to let the Vacation series end with a shred of dignity... The character of Eddie worked because he was a foil. He was hilarious because of his juxtaposition with (relatively) normal people, and because of the insults Clark threw at him which never registered. Quaid pulls off his Eddie persona decently enough, but the bottom line is that the character, judged on his own merits, is not funny, and Eddie is not a suitable character to carry his own film.
This leaves the rest of the cast to shoulder the burden...sorry, not happening. Ed Asner never looks remotely interested, Miriam Flynn's Catherine was always a background role so there's not much to mine here, and Sung Hi Lee appears to just be the requisite object of lust. Jack Thompson is flat-out awful. With so many budding actors hoping to break the big time, it's a mystery as to how such talentless failures like Thompson manage to get work. Dana Barron is the only highlight, but only due to the novelty factor since she played the role of Audrey Griswold in the very first Vacation movie in 1983. There's a very unfunny cameo courtesy of Eric Idle as well, who (one supposes) plays the same role he portrayed in European Vacation - the British guy who gets beaten up by accident a lot. Wasn't funny back then, and it's far less funny now. To be fair, even a group of Oscar-winning actors wouldn't make this movie any less dismal.
Perhaps worst of all, Christmas Vacation 2 never even feels like a Christmas movie. This could be attributed to the tropical island setting, or the lack of a delightful Christmas atmosphere. But in all likelihood, it's because of the awful screenwriting that basically tries to cash in on the Christmas Vacation name. Then again, this reviewer might just be a bit of a cynic.
If you're seeking a definitive lesson on how to milk a franchise until there's nothing left but a burnt out, lifeless husk, Christmas Vacation 2 fits the bill. It isn't so bad it's good. It isn't even so bad it's bad. To call it bad would be an insult to all things that are bad. This film hurts one's feeling. It tarnishes the Christmas Vacation label. Depression rates apparently go up at Christmastime, and here's a way to justify that. I believe I've devoted more than enough manpower to write a review of this cinematic abortion. Trust me, you don't want to watch it. You don't even want anything to do with it.