Most imaginative stroke is the passport-stamped credit sequence that opens this sequel to the 1983 National Lampoon’s Vacation. Story [by John Hughes] of a frenetic, chaotic tour of the Old World, with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprising their roles as determined vacationers, is graceless and only intermittently lit up by lunacy and satire.
As the family of characters cartwheel through London, Paris, Italy and Germany – with the French deliciously taking it on the chin for their arrogance and rudeness – director Amy Heckerling gets carried away with physical humor while letting her American tourists grow tiresome and predictable. Structurally, the film unfolds like a series of travel brochures.
Uneven screenplay never sails, and it’s left to Chase to fire up the film. His character is actually rather sympathetic – if boorish – in his insistence on turning every Continental moment into a delight (scanning Paris, he shouts ‘I want to write, I want to paint, I got a romantic urge!’).