Like a gag-inducing cocktail of the annoying, desperate and overly sentimental, Vince Vaughn has re-united with Delivery Man director-writer Ken Scott for the hilariously unfunny, Unfinished Business. Their previous collaboration – thanks primarily to the contribution of Hollywood’s latest darling, Chris Pratt – was surprisingly heartfelt, yet this charmless affair is another comedic bum note for the much-maligned funny man.
Dan Trunkman (Vaughn) leads his band of merry misfits, consisting of old dog Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson) and the dopey Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), on a business trip to Germany (via Portland) in the hope of securing a long speculated deal which, it was hoped, would secure the financial future of their small company. What was expected to be a routine trip quickly turns on its head when the trio find they are competing with an old nemesis, the feisty Chuck Portnoy (Sienna Miller), for the lucrative contract – and that they are unceremoniously losing the battle. With jobs on the line and financial issues hanging over his head, Trunkman has to pull out all the stops to try and convince Jim Spinch (James Marsden) and his bosses that he and his two associates are the right team for the job.
There is nothing original or surprising about Unfinished Business. Attempting to play out the story of the underdog without the required heart or charm, its three lead characters are polar opposites, yet equally as unfunny as one another. Dave Franco proves he can be just as unbearable as his big bro, James, as he plays the stupid card to face-palming effect. Tom Wilkinson’s oddly crude OAP, Timothy, is as subtle as a sledgehammer as every word that comes out of his mouth appears to be an oddly-timed sex reference which, god-hoping, have been met with greatly deserved deafening silences across the world’s cinematoriums.
Vaughn’s Trunkman is, at least, the lesser evil of the soul-destroying threesome, yet strangely subdued considering the Old School stars usual fast-talking brand of humour. He does, however, ramp up the cringeworthy sentimental stakes, as he deals with his son’s bullying issues from thousands of miles away. In a less soul-destroying context than this apparently raucous comedy, the whole father-son online Skype bonding sessions could have come across as somewhat sweet – but the allusion that this is anything other than a crude mess of a film is blown firmly out of the water as soon as Hot Fuzz star Nick Frost’s prosthetic (we can only hope!) penis appears on screen, making an ‘out there’ cameo appearance.
Miller’s short but sweet turn as the trio’s high-flying bitchy business rival, Chuck, is the most convincing aspect of Scott’s thoroughly laugh-free effort that, unfortunately, is further evidence of Vaughn’s continued fall from comedic grace.