Friday, August 27, 2021

Vacation Friends Review: A Hilarious Cena Makes This A Comedy Trip Worth Taking

John Cena	...	Ron Lil Rel Howery	Lil Rel Howery	...	Marcus Meredith Hagner	Meredith Hagner	...	Kyla Yvonne Orji	Yvonne Orji	...	Emily Barry Rothbart	Barry Rothbart	...	Darren Chuck Cooper	Chuck Cooper	...	Larry Hugh Moore	Hugh Moore	...	Zeke T. Love	T. Love	...	Fred Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Luis Antonio	Luis Antonio	...	Mayan Shaman Julitza Berberena	Julitza Berberena	...	Girl at the bar background Kamal Angelo Bolden	Kamal Angelo Bolden		 Jessica Danielle Curry	Jessica Danielle Curry	...	Chicago Wife Ramiro 'Ramir' Delgado Ruiz	Ramiro 'Ramir' Delgado Ruiz	...	Mexican mechanic Hans Francois	Hans Francois	...	Mexican Taxi Cab Driver Jose Fuentes	Jose Fuentes	...	Guitar Player #2 at Airport

Release date: August 27, 2021
Running time: 105 minutes
Director, Clay Tarver
Writers, Tom Mullen, Clay Tarver
Stars: John Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Meredith Hagner, Yvonne Orji

In this raw and raunchy comedy, strait-laced Marcus and Emily (Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji) are befriended by wild, thrill-seeking partiers Ron and Kyla (John Cena, Meredith Hagner) at a resort in Mexico. Living in the moment, the usually level-headed couple lets loose to enjoy a week of uninhibited fun and debauchery with their new “vacation friends.” Months after their walk on the wild side, Marcus and Emily are horrified when Ron and Kyla show up uninvited at their wedding, creating chaos and proving that what happens on vacation, doesn’t necessarily stay on vacation.

Cristian Gonzalez	...	Enzo Anna Maria Horsford	Anna Maria Horsford	...	Nancy TJ Jackson	TJ Jackson	...	Bandleader / Piano Player Forrest Mitchell	Forrest Mitchell	...	Marcus' Construction Friend Hugh Moore	Hugh Moore	...	Zeke Shermonz Pounds	Shermonz Pounds	...	Self - Airport Scene (voice) Francisco Romo	Francisco Romo	...	Accordion Player at Airport Carlos Santos	Carlos Santos	...	Maurillio Jaclyn White	Jaclyn White	...	Airport customer Lynn Whitfield	Lynn Whitfield		 Robert Wisdom	Robert Wisdom		 Gloria Bishop	Gloria Bishop	...	Engagement Party Guest (uncredited) Christopher Cocke	Christopher Cocke	...	Construction Worker (uncredited) Jamie Michelle Kelley	Jamie Michelle Kelley	...	Patricia (uncredited) Michele Manchester	Michele Manchester	...	Chicago Wife (uncredited) Luis O. Rosado	Luis O. Rosado	...	Guy at the beach (uncredited) Kim Rosen	Kim Rosen	...	Self / Airport Scene Tourist & Self / Airport Scene Kiosk Employee (uncredited)
Your enjoyment of Vacation Friends will turn on how much you like the main cast of Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Meredith Hagner, and Yvonne Orji.  They all play very different characters that are fun to watch and sometimes don't work well together, but that is the point of the film.  But there is a consistent thread of craziness, drug humor, and downright insanity that permeates this film.  Sometimes it can be tough to watch but there are so many laugh out loud moments that will make you smile and wish you were vacationing with this crazy group.  From the drug humor, to the crazy stunts, to the drug humor, to the drugs, this film has plenty to keep you entertained.  And of all the characters, Cena is the most fun to watch.  I love how he really goes all into his roles and takes everything to an extreme; his friendship is extreme, his insanity is extreme, and all of it is fun to watch. 

And through all of this you have some genuine insights into friendship and love, despite how crazy and packed with baggage those insights come with.  And there are some genuine surprises throughout the movie as you learn more about this crazy group of friends and their equally dysfunctional family.  However, although Vacation friends is a very funny movie, the humor seems to stick to similar subjects.  This isn't necessarily bad as they are very funny subjects, but the movie can start to have a sense of familiarity partway through.  And as with this type of film, the humor can be anxiety inducing as Kyla and Ron do some pretty ridiculous things.  But equally anxiety inducing is Marcus and Emily's reaction to some of their misplaced but genuinely sweet sentiments.  And the film does seem to go on a little too long, though it's by no means an egregious runtime.  I just wish that there was a little trimmed in the middle to make it snappier.

Vacation Friends will take you on a crazy trip with a hilarious Cena and Hagner, plenty of laugh out loud moments, insane situations, and some genuine heart. 

Rent it.
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Vacation Friends premieres on August 27, 2021 exclusively on Hulu

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