When we look at major film releases, we usually are talking about theatrical films, or perhaps something streaming, like a Netflix movie or something on Disney+ Premier Access. However, while Hulu is usually the streaming service that we think of as focusing on television, it has more than a few movies worth checking out, and its newest entry is a big one. Vacation Friends is an R-rated comedy starring John Cena and Lil Rey Howery.
The movie, which is about a couple that lets themselves go a little wild while on vacation, and then sees those decisions come back to haunt them, is a very adult comedy, as the R-rating makes clear. While it seems like mature comedies have become a rare beast, when they work, they can become big hits. Based on the fan reaction, Vacation Friends works.
Vacation Friends Is Hilarious
At the end of the day, there is only one requirement for a comedy: it needs to be funny. If it makes you laugh, it's a win, and if it doesn't, you move on. By that single metric, Vacation Friends is a big win. While there are certainly those saying on social media that the movie isn't that funny, they are by far the minority. The overwhelming response from those that have seen the film over the last week is that it's a laugh riot.
It's not simply that the movie is funny. Even in the best cases, it's rare that every joke lands. But a lot of the people talking about Vacation Friends right now are saying that it's one of the funniest movies they've seen in a long time. It's one of those movies that will have you laughing consistently from start to finish. These days, people want to laugh, so Vacation Friends is a real help in that department.
Vacation Friends is getting lukewarm reviews from critics but most critics, for better or worse, look at a lot more than simply whether or not a comedy is funny. Especially for a movie that you're watching at home on TV, there's nothing wrong with that being all you need a movie to be, and Vacation Friends scratches that itch.
While a lot of people think Vacation Friends is really funny, there's one member of the cast who is getting a lot of specific praise.
People Are Coming Around On John Cena
Professional wrestlers becoming film and TV actors is nothing new, but we're living through an era where those former wrestlers are seeing unparalleled success. Having said that, John Cena has maybe been having a tougher time of it than some of his contemporaries. He's not the massive global star that Dwayne Johnson is, but he also hasn't built his own personal niche of unique roles like that of a Dave Bautista. But with Vacation Friends, people who maybe weren't Cena's biggest fans are giving him a second look, and they like what they see.
John Cena has only recently, as in the last few months, been seen in those major franchise roles like F9 and The Suicide Squad that tend to get an actor really noticed by the mainstream. While Cena has been getting praise for his work in the past, there are clearly some who were already in the process of writing him off, but maybe now they're beginning to turn the corner and are becoming John Cena fans.
Perhaps Vacation Friends has allowed John Cena to stretch his wings a bit. His character in WWE was largely a family-friendly hero, the sort of man designed in a lab to offend nobody ever. Up until recently, many of his film roles were similar. But now we have the one-two punch of Cena's Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad, who is foul-mouthed and violent. Then there's his character in Vacation Friends, who is... just the worst, but somehow still likable and hilarious.
It seems that many may not have been watching Vacation Friends for John Cena, but were very happy with what they got from him. Some other fans have been a bit more... specific in what they like about Cena in this film.
Shirtless John Cena Is A Big Hit
Vacation Friends sees the characters spend large portions of time on a tropical beach vacation, near the water, on boats and everything else that goes along with that. As such, all the guys spend time with their shirts off, but with apologies to Lil Rey Howery, nobody is drooling all over Twitter for his shirtless bod. There are a lot of people very happy that the entire premise of the movie allows John Cena to spend large portions of the runtime with no shirt, or at the very least, an open shirt.
I mean, I can't blame anybody. John Cena's physique is part of what made him a star in WWE, and it makes him a convincing action hero on the big screen. The guy has spent a lot of his screen time with his shirt off and for him it just works. And if you're not a WWE fan, this is a great way to get your shirtless Cena time.
Fans clearly like Vacation Friends a lot and have shown in by watching it on Hulu so much that a sequel has already been greenlit. How they're going to improve on this one remains to be seen but there will clearly be people looking forward to Vacation Friends 2.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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