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Holiday Road: Vacation movies uses iconic theme a bunch of times

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Hopper Stone

When is a remake not a remake? When it’s Vacation, which acts as both the fifth film in the Vacation franchise and a sneaky reboot of the original comedy classic. Come to see Ed Helms play Rusty Griswold (the fifth actor to play the role in five movies), stay for another trip to Wally World in the Family Truckster.

The new Vacation — which as Rusty jokes in the film’s most meta moment will “stand on its own” — includes a surfeit of callbacks and references to the 1983 original (including appearances from Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, as Clark and Ellen Griswold), but none as big as the use of Lindsey Buckingham’s theme song, “Holiday Road.” Both the original and two covers are played in the new movie. Ahead, a brief guide to the variations.

“Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham

Buckingham’s classic opens the movie, acting as musical accompaniment to a montage of awkward family photos.

“Holiday Road” by Matt Pond

Pond’s downcast cover, which could have been used on an episode of The O.C. but wasn’t, gets played when the Griswolds arrive at Clark and Ellen’s house after a bunch of road-trip related set backs.

“Holiday Road by Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band’s straightforward cover is used during the closing credits, perhaps to signal that while we’re no longer inside our father’s version of Vacation, we’re at least on its same travel route.

Vacation is out now.

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