Starring: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco
Tired of the treatment he receives from his obnoxious boss (Sienna Miller), salesman Dan Trunkman (Vaughn) decides to form his own company, and after meeting them by chance at the company car park, recruits the soon to retire Timothy McWinters (Wilkinson) and dim-witted novice Mike Pancake (Franco) to join him. When the three of them travel to Berlin to make a deal that could get their company finally off the ground, all hilarity naturally ensues.
Vince Vaughn has a tendency to play annoying characters in even more annoying films, but last year in Delivery Man actually managed to emerge as slightly likeable and suggested that he was perhaps turning a corner. Well despite having the same director at the helm, he is now back on familiar territory with Unfinished Business; yet another offensively bad mainstream ‘comedy’ that is basically like staring into the abyss and watching Western civilization collapse before one’s very eyes.
I do not have a problem with crude humour at all, in fact I quite enjoy it when done well, but the supposedly funny set pieces in Unfinished Business just aren’t funny in the slightest as the slapdash plot and script are written with no effort whatsoever. Naturally we have all manner of plot contrivances, including loads of global events happening at Berlin while they are there which will of course become involved in the narrative, and this is put together in an embarrassingly bad and disjointed way.
However we are of course supposed to care about our protagonist, and so intertwined with all the crude bromance moments we have scenes of Vince Vaughan’s character talking to his children. During this point he is trying to figure out who he really is by the means of voiceover and online talks with his wife and children. His children deal with serious issues such as childhood obesity and bullying, but the film deals with these in such an unbelievably casual way it is actually really offensive in how lazy and complacent the writers are, and how they seem to think the average viewer is stupid enough to fall for this. There is also a joke involving Vince Vaughn’s character having a hotel room that is in fact an installation in a museum (don’t ask), but both the jokes and supposed character development this is intended to produce misfire in a horrendous way.
As the lead Vince Vaughn gives his usual dead eyed lackadaisical performance, looking like he knows he doesn’t have to put any effort in to his performances to keep on getting paid a lot of money. Meanwhile actors that should know better like Tom Wilkinson, Sienna Miller, James Marsden and Nick Frost all look genuinely embarrassed to be there and share absolutely no on-screen chemistry with one another. To be fair to Dave Franco, he does put effort into his performance and if this film had a decent script to complement it his character would probably be extremely likeable, but the offensively lazy script most certainly does not do that.
Of course this being mainstream comedy, it has a very predictable ending, which in isolation may not necessarily be a problem, but when a film is so offensively bad and its characters so unbelievably annoying and unlikeable (and it stars Vince Vaughn in a typically obnoxious single tone performance), then it is just impossible to care.
Yet another offensively bad comedy to come from the mainstream; featuring yet another annoyingly bad lead performance from Vince Vaughn, Unfinished Business is a film with such lazy attempts at humour and character development, it is sanity-threateningly bad.