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Johnson Family Vacation
Johnson Family Vacation

Starring Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, Vanessa Williams,
Bow Wow, Solange Knowles, Shannon Elizabeth

Johnson Family Vacation gives the funny Cedric The Entertainer the chance to show off in what starts out to be a pretty amusing road picture. But, about halfway through things take a detour that AAA, as well as first-time director Christopher Erskin, can’t save.

From the trailer, Erskin seems to have patterned things after National Lampoon’s Vacation, with some influence of Big Momma’s House. While Cedric tries to fashion a worthy successor to Chevy Chase , his reunion with friends and stand-up-comedian Stave Harvey The Original Kings of Comedy dissolves into a routine of the competitive and the maudlin.

For a while, there is something for families to smile at as Cedric’s Nate is with his son DJ (Lil’Bow Wow), getting a souped-up red Lincoln Navigator (with an onboard navigation system) to take on their annual trip from LA to Missouri . Nate is tried of losing to his brother, Max ( Harvey ), when he goes home to visit the family. The nice-looking family includes his estranged wife Dorothy (Vanessa L. Williams), older daughter (the pretty Solange Knowles) and younger daughter (Gabby Soleil) with an imaginary pet.

DJ and Nate will toss some of each other’s CD’s out the window as some of the banter during the early part of the ride has snap to it. Shannon Elizabeth’s Chrishelle is an alluring voodoo hitchhiker who starts to bring bad karma to the trip. She probably would have done better with a part like Christie Brinkley’s Chase. More raucous and crude comedy turn up when the Johnsons stop for a meal and Nate makes an untimely discovery in the restroom.

Like Eddie Murphy in the Nutty Professor films, Cedric gets to play multiple roles. His other part is the mechanic, Uncle Earl, who is instrumental in getting the Johnsons to their destination. But the film starts to feel like the concrete on the front of the Navigator once Earl goes into his routines and Nate has to go through a cornfield to find a telephone.

Erskin and his writers have a hard time sustaining viewer interest despite a bouncy soundtrack and an energetic protagonist who comes to learn about the value of those closest to him.

Johnson Family Vacation

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