THEATRICAL REVIEW: Vacation Friends a sleazy exercise in raunchy comedy

It’s an unfortunate side effect of filmmaking that when you have proven, red-hot talents in your film, you take for granted they can carry it.

John Cena has seen immense success with Blockers and The Suicide Squad, while Lil Rel Howery has stolen scenes in everything from Get Out to Free Guy.

But the two can’t save this hard-R rated lacklustre affair from succumbing to its own lazy plot devices.

Surprisingly, this comedy took five people to write it, and ends up looking like the type of cliched mess we’ve seen 1,000 times before.

Co-writer and director Clay Tarver was responsible for the script for wild thriller Joy Ride in 2001, but hasn’t been up to much since, barring a few Silicon Valley episodes. It shows, and his conceits and ideas here appear hackneyed and poorly-aged.

Cena and Meredith Hagner give their all as a zany, no-holds-barred couple who meet straight-laced characters played by Howery and Yvonne Orji on vacation in Mexico.

All of these actors give it what they have, but unfortunately this plot centred around a couple who goes back to their regular life – and wedding planning – only to find out the friends from their vacation follow them just isn’t all that original.

Even Robert Wisdom, who has a nice role as the disapproving father of the bride, can’t invigorate things much.

All in all, it’s a pretty forgettable effort that these wonderful actors just can’t bolster enough.

2/5 Stars

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