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'Vegas Vacation'

By Bruce Walker
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 7, 1997

Show me the funny!

In this fourth episode in the continuing saga of the hapless Griswolds and their eventful vacations, Clark and Ellen Griswold (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo) and kids Rusty and Audrey (Ethan Embry and Marisol Nichols) head to Las Vegas, where Clark becomes addicted to gambling and Ellen catches Wayne Newton's eye. Meanwhile Rusty, fake ID in hand, is winning big-time at the tables and daughter Audrey is dancing at a club.

After a somewhat promising opening, the movie falls flat. The running joke -- Clark losing $27,000 at the blackjack table -- just isn't funny, and the rest of the filler is not very fulfilling (there is one rather funny scene in a sort of "alternative gambling" casino offering "Pick a Number From One to Ten," "Scissors and Rock" and other children's games, and a couple of other scattered laughs).

But 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.

Contains nothing too offensive, but only about five minutes of humor and 90 minutes of NOT humor.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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