The film opens with an amusing game show scene, in which the Griswold's (or Griswald as it's spelt on his passport) win a trip to Europe. After that it's mostly downhill with cheap sets, bizarre editing, stock footage, pointless scenes, a boring car chase scene, completely underused European locations, hideous fashions and numerous jokes that are dead on arrival. On the bright side...it's still totally watchable. Chevy Chase has his moments, some familiar faces (Eric Idle, Paul Bartel, John Astin, Ballard Berkeley, William Zabka, etc.) brighten things up, two nice topless scenes, hideous fashions, quick pace and strangely enough...some of the dead humor is now so lame that it's actually become funny to laugh at.
I feel (as a highly-paid professional film critic) that I should probably have more to say about EUROPEAN VACATION, but honestly the subject bores me and I'd much rather move on to the next film in the series, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION, which is one of my favorite films of the 1980's. "Shitter was full!"
Part 1 - National Lampoon's Vacation
Part 3 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Part 4 - Vegas Vacation
Part 5 - Vacation
Lame pre-1972 stock footage that doesn't even show the World Trade Center.