‘Unfinished Business’ is the latest comedy vehicle for Vince Vaughn, who has teamed up with director Ken Scott once again after their work on’ Delivery Man’ in 2014. The film follows Vaughn’s character Dan Trunkman as he leaves the sales company he works for to start his own small business. Joining Dan on his journey are, storied British actor Tom Wilkinson & Dave Franco, the younger brother of James. The trio after a year of little success are on the verge of a major deal that could solidify their working futures, all they need to do is follow through on the oldest of business agreements, the handshake. The problem they soon discover is that their old employer and rival, Sienna Miller, is also on the verge of agreeing a deal with the same people. What follows is a race against time to secure the deal first, by any means necessary.
So have Vince Vaughn & Ken Scott built upon the relative success they had with ‘Delivery Man’? Not really, as Unfinished Business keeps itself in the steady lane without turning off into boredom but also without moving up onto a faster, funnier level. The 90 minute running time fits the film well, as it does most comedies, keeping the film short enough and not dragging gags out too long. The best way to describe the film over all is mediocre, but it does have its moments.
The comedy throughout the film is a blend of moments that range from chuckles to full laughs, with one scene in particular being borderline hilarious. The majority of the comedy doesn’t come from the lead in Vaughn, it comes supporting player Franco. Franco steals scenes for the majority of the film with his naive, low IQ character Mike Pancake. However, come the end of the film, Mike Pancake reveals some of his back story where it could easily be taken that he has learning difficulties. Whether this was the case when they wrote the script and intended it to be, it takes the shine off some of the best moments in the film as you look back and realise you’ve been laughing at somebody who is less a bumbling young idiot, but a character with a troubled youth and difficulty learning. It could very easily be that they intended for us to laugh at this character and his actions to then shine the spot light back on us for doing so, or not.
Tom Wilkinson’s character, experienced and aged Timothy Winters however doesn’t get the same time as Franco does to excel. There are some moments, one involving a sex maid which bring some small laughs, but the rest of comedy assigned to his character is the generic older person doing rude thing shtick. I may standalone in this but that kind of comedy is as old as the character Wilkinson plays and is just not funny. Is it really that funny on paper when you have a 60 year old smoking a bong and taking pills? All of this is shame because Wilkinson has proved himself to be an excellent actor throughout the years and he can do better than this.
As for Vaughn, well, as an actor he is very easy to watch on screen but his performances and films these past couple of years are more likely to make you smile than make you laugh. This again is a shame because he has had some great comedies and performances in the past. The majority of his recent characters have just lacked the edge that made him so good in films like ‘Old School’ & ‘Wedding Crashers’. With ‘True Detective Season 2’ on it’s way, hopefully it is something that will keep him from falling into a rut.
Overall ‘Unfinished Business’ is a comedy that is best suited to Netflix, easy to watch and easy to forget and it only takes 90 minutes to go through. Some will be pleasantly surprised that it is not the ‘Hangover’ style comedy that 20th Century Fox are advertising it as, but those expecting hilarity will be disappointed. Dave Franco is by far the best thing about the film, and he continues to quietly rise to prominence as he follows on the success from his turns in ’21 Jump Street’, ‘Bad Neighbours’ & ‘Now You See Me’. I would consider this a filler film, something to fill the gaps in a day off or to put on whilst you do something else.