Vince Vaughn has re-teamed with his Delivery Man director Ken Scott for his latest effort at bringing a funny flick, Unfinished Business. Is it one of our top 11 Vince Vaughn comedies? Sadly, it is not and it appears to be another miss from the talented actor who can do both silly and serious. The issue may be that he is trying to make comedies of late that flirt with both at the same time.
Unfinished Business is not simply about a guy trying to save his company and the make-it-or-break-it business trip to Europe and all the pratfalls that befall his workers (played by Dave Franco and game for being outrageously comedically crazy, serious British thespian Tom Wilkinson).
There is also the home life aspect that Vaughn is fighting for and we salute that. But, it dilutes the comedic aspect of Unfinished Business with a couple of storylines that feel cliché and tossed in to capture what is on the evening news. Vaughn’s teenage son is being bullied at school and his young daughter may or may not be a bully herself.
While Vaughn is trying to close this deal that we hear he has been working on for a year, he is simultaneously dealing with these issues from home. Yes, we know these are exactly the types of situations many of us face while trying to take care of business and be the best family man or woman we can be! But in this comedy, it just feels like an afterthought that was inserted into the screenplay to add depth and heart to something that truthfully did not need it.
The film is called Unfinished Business and it should center on the land mines of humor that can be found from the institution that is the business trip. You even have the guy who has never been on one (Franco) and all that that entails. And then there’s Wilkinson’s character that is miserable in his long term marriage and eager to bust out of his shell and relive his youth and truly “love” again. Those are comedic gems waiting to happen that the audience gets pulled away from when the biz-centric comedy has to stop for a Skype call from home with issues that are pulling Vaughn in a million directions.
We get it. He is facing challenges at home and at work. Again, this is a film called Unfinished Business and we think all involved would have been better served to focus more on the magic that is Wilkinson and Franco’s characters and the easily flustered character that Vaughn inhabits. That is comic gold! There's plenty of that in the Unfinished Business red band trailer!
Franco steals the movie. There is no doubt about it. He plays a simpleton who seems like the last guy you want on a do or die business trip. But, in a great lesson of don’t judge a book by its cover, he may be exactly who you need on the front lines hammering out a deal that will save the company. See, that’s where your heart and character challenge could come from! Not necessarily having your lead glued to a tablet, smart phone or laptop taking care of business at home.
There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, but they all arise from Vaughn being Vaughn, Franco pushing the "is he crazy or brilliant" envelope and Wilkinson as a man who has lived so restricted for so long, that this may be his last chance at getting wild.
Unfortunately, our Unfinished Business review finds, we go home too many times on this business trip to make this comedy the next great Vaughn funny-fest.
Perhaps Vaughn should stop finding the heartwarming in films (like in Delivery Man and The Internship) and focus on just being a spoke in the wheel of a funny film that doesn’t apologize for what it is (like The Watch).
Watch Wedding Crashers online and there you'll find a nice mix of sunny and sweet.