Vegas Vacation (1997)

Vegas Vacation is the first movie in the series not to be a National Lampoon movie or a John Hughes script, although the extent of his work on National Lampoon’s European Vacation was that they took ideas he didn’t use for National Lampoon’s Vacation and had to give him credit. He didn’t like that the series had turned into a star vehicle for Chevy Chase and heard about the movie in a trade after it was already being made.

Ethan Embry is the new Rusty and Marisol Nichols is Audrey, while Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn all return. So does Christie Brinkley, despite not being in the past few sequels. Hijinks ensue, this time in Sin City, as Clark becomes addicted to gambling, Rusty becomes high rolling Nick Pappagiorgio, Ellen gets chased by Wayne Netwon and Audrey becomes an exotic dancer with her cousin Vicki (Shae D’lyn).

Directed by Stephen Kessler and written by Elisa Bell and Bob Ducsay, this is a movie that wastes Sid Caesar in his last role and goes away from what made the two best movies — National Lampoon’s Vacation and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — work. This has no basis in reality and instead is just a vehicle for schtick with no sentiment to make it memorable.

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