Directed by Harold Ramis, National Lampoon’s Vacation (’83) was a soft, silly comedy of humiliation aimed at the squares. The only thing I really liked about it was the “Holiday Road” theme song. I know that John Hughes‘ screenplay diluted the fuck out of his original National Lampoon short story “Vacation ’58,” which was much, much darker — it really shook hands with the repressed rage of the 1950s-era dads who gave so many boomers such miserable childhoods. The new Vacation (Warner Bros., 7.31) is seemingly a slightly more vulgar rehash of the ’83 film with Russell Griswold (Ed Helms), the son of Chevy Chase‘s Clark Griswold, determined to experience the same family horrors. I’d much rather see Doug Tirola‘s Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead again.