In ‘Vacation Friends’, Marcus (Lil Rey Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) have the perfect holiday planned in Mexico, but things start to go wrong from the moment they arrive. They befriend another couple on their trip – Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) – who bring out a party animal side to them that they never knew they had. Uninterested in maintaining this new found friendship, Marcus and Emily set about planning their wedding upon arriving home. But on the weekend before the big day, who should turn up but Ron and Kyla.
John Cena has proven to have a flair for comedy from as early as his small role in ‘Trainwreck’ to the recent ‘Suicide Squad’, after which he’s managed to get his character Peacemaker his own TV spin-off. Lil Rey Howery has more than proven his talent for comedy too, in such films as ‘Get Out’, ‘Good Boys’ and ‘Free Guy’. So the two together on screen means you will get a few laughs out of the movie, in spite of yourself.
While far less effort, frustratingly, seems to have been given to Emily and Kyla, Cena and Howery are great, the former being unhinged as well as unpredictable. New hilarious facts about his past and knowledge constantly emerge, and Howery, though the straight one by comparison, has some great one liners too and proves funny in his neuroticism.
As the two couples have some insane excursions in Mexico, having the time of their lives, you too end up having fun and laughing along with them (there’s a particularly funny wrestling gag here). Unfortunately ‘Vacation Friends’ seriously loses pace and that sense of fun – both within the narrative itself, and for audience – once the vacation part is over and they go home.
Their wedding is a swanky and formal affair which initially they think Ron and Kyla are going to ruin, but they end up being a hit with Emily’s family. Turns out they're just really loyal friends, and way more craic than anyone else they hang out with. It is a sweet and funny finale, but it takes a really long time to get there. It’s inconsistent in delivering humour, but it’s entertaining enough (the hallucinogenic scene being a highlight in that second half) and we could definitely use some more comedies right about now.