Hilfe, die Amis kommen! (1985)

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Hilfe, die Amis kommen!: Directed by Amy Heckerling. With Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively. The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

“The Griswoldu0026#39;s (mis-spelled here as Griswald) European Tour is far inferior to their cross-country trek to Walley World. First time around Clark had a goal, a destination, and pay-off for the audience when he finally got there. Second time around heu0026#39;s just wandering aimlessly from country to country, and it doesnu0026#39;t make for great entertainment Iu0026#39;m afraid.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe Griswoldu0026#39;s win the grand prize in a humiliating TV show called u0026#39;Pig in a Pokeu0026#39; and are sent to England, France, Germany, and Italy on an all expenses paid trip. The bulk of the humor is a scatter-shot approach to comedy that abuses tired clichés and cultural stereotypes for quick, easy, cheap laughs.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDirector Amy Heckerling may have used the first Vacation as a reference, but she doesnu0026#39;t have the control over the film that Harold Ramis did, and frequently allows the actors to ad-lib with the assumption that whatever they do might be funny. Even comedy actors need direction, and Heckerlingu0026#39;s poor effort ruins many scenes that had potential. Even her camera placing and angles seem awkward and unbalanced. The grainy, low-key photography is also completely inappropriate for a film featuring such a wide range of scenery. Her use of stock footage is bad too (a shot of the Statue of Liberty shows no Twin Towers of the WTC, which were built in 1972!), and heightens the slapdash nature of the production. A few scenes seem to be edited out of order too, which leads me to believe that the script flowed a little differently before being rewritten (Clark leaves the London hotel, moves literally five feet down the street, then asks for directions back to the hotel).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eJohn Hughesu0026#39; influence on the script was obviously minimum. Vacation and Christmas Vacation were ficionalised accounts of his own familyu0026#39;s experiences. But European Vacation feels like a quick cash-in on the originalu0026#39;s success, and co-writer Robert Klane doesnu0026#39;t know how to inject the pathos and satire that was so easy for Hughes.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe European trip is definitely lagging far behind Walley World, Christmas and Las Vegas. A better director and a tighter script would have saved it. But Chase is as watchable as ever, and the only reason to sit through this poorly-made drivel.”


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