With a lame script and a very unremarkable plot, Vacation Friends follows the trend of R-rated comedies relying too much on generic material to succeed.
Directed by Clay Tarver, the film follows a couple, Marcus (Lil Rey Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) on a vacation to Mexico. They meet the crazy duo of Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) who for no reason take a liking to them and turn their peaceful existence into a never-ending series of mishaps and bizarre experiences.
I guess whoever wrote the screenplay must have thought, 'Let me write a script about a white couple frustrating the living hell out of a black couple. And along the way, both will learn valuable lessons, and everyone is happy by the time the film ends.'
The above pretty much sums up the movie. Add the totally unnecessary hardcore humour (comprising some of the worst jokes ever told on screen and most cheesy one-liners) and make everyone portray themselves as buffoons, and there you have what Vacation Friends really is.
The story is filled with a lot of unrealistic and stupid elements that I won't bother going into because it was, for the most part, agonizing to watch.
The acting is terrible, the innumerable attempts at crude humour fall flat, and all the characters are total douchebags that leave you not caring about them.
Though John Cena gets top billing, Lil Rey Howery is the protagonist of this story. Unfortunately, he lacks what it takes to be the lead character and gets overshadowed by almost everyone. His performance as a supporting character in Fatherhood worked but here, he ends up being sidelined.
Cena (who has shown some promise in the comedy genre) ends up making a total fool of himself here, and that is not even the worst part. The worst part is, his portrayal of what should be a funny character is not even funny. I give him credit for trying but I guess the totally wack script is to blame for his hollow performance.
Also, there is zero chemistry between the two couples (Yvonne Orji comes across as stiff almost throughout her screentime), and Meredith Hagner's character has to be the most annoying in this film).
I desperately wanted to like Vacation Friends but almost everything about the movie is wrong. If as a movie fan you end up sitting through a comedy straight-faced for the entirety of the film, then whoever helmed that movie has failed to produce the desired effect.
This was a wasted effort made worse by poor execution.