What 'Vacation' Sequels Could Learn From 'Lampoon'

It's been 12 years since the last National Lampoon's Vacation movie, and the latest, the aptly named Vacation , sees Ed Helms picking up the mantle of Rusty Griswold. In the film, out now, Rusty reenacts his childhood trip to Wally World as seen in the original National Lampoon's Vacation. Although reviews have been mixed, predictions have it set for an impressive box office debut. That, combined with the fact that the original Vacation is a beloved comedy classic and a critical darling that spawned three sequels in addition to this year's reboot, will have fans no doubt wondering if this new movie is the start of many more to come. So, will Vacation have a sequel?

As of right now, it's too early to tell. The original intention in making the new Vacation was that it would be the start of a new franchise, but the mixed reviews might be putting those plans into question. Really, though, it's Vacation's box office performance that will ultimately decide whether or not the film gets a sequel (do you think those 12 Transformers movies were made because of all their critical acclaim?). If the studio does decide to make a follow-up to Vacation, it would do well to look to the original series for inspiration; the choices behind the new movie are totally understandable, but it'd be fun to go a different route the second time around. Below, five things from the original National Lampoon's Vacation series that any sequel would be smart to have.

Less Gross-Out Humor

The first Vacation knew when to sprinkle in gross-out humor in the form of someone taking a bite out of a pee-covered sandwich (you don't actually see the pee), but the new film is filled with poop, vomit, and conversations about rimjobs. Sometimes, less is more.

A Totally New Storyline

Walley World was fun for a few movies, but it doesn't need to be revisited again. A sequel would benefit from coming up with something new and different. In other words, Ed Helms better not have relatives over to his house for Christmas.

A Reality Check

Even though the later movies in the original series got away from this idea a bit, the original Vacation is fairly realistic. There isn't too much in the movie that is implausible, and that's what makes it relatable to so many people. We've all had a disastrous family trip, we all have relatives we can't stand, and we've all had plans go awry. But how many of us have gone swimming in a pool of sewage, like in the new Vacation? The mantra of sequels and reboots often seems to be that bigger is better, but sometimes, being grounded in reality makes a movie even funnier.

More Use Of Its Supporting Cast

Everyone in the first Vacation has a role that fits them perfectly according to their talents, including the smaller roles. Imogene Coca as annoying Aunt Edna, Christie Brinkley as the beautiful stranger, Eugene Levy as the sleazy car salesman, John Candy as the hapless security guard — there's not a wasted actor in the film. Although the new Vacation managed to wrangle some impressive talent (Leslie Mann, Charlie Day, Keegan Michael-Key), they don't get to showcase their unique abilities as much as they should (with the exception of Chris Hemsworth). Securing skilled comedic actors is one thing, but knowing how to use them is what makes a movie truly great.

Cousin Eddie

I know that Randy Quaid hasn't been in anything for awhile, but the fact remains that Cousin Eddie is an essential part of the Vacation franchise. Although it's true he wore out his welcome in Vegas Vacation, he's great in small doses, and I still would welcome an appearance by the king of undesirable relatives in a future film. I don't care if they have to film his cameo in whatever Canadian bunker he's currently hiding in, just make it happen.

There may or may not be a Vacation sequel, but if it does happen, let's hope that it's a worthy addition to the National Lampoon genre.

Images: Warner Brothers Pictures; Giphy (5)