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New Release Review - Delivery Man

Remake of the 2011 movie Starbuck.

Directed by: Ken Scott
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Jack Reynor


David Wozniak (Vaughan) is a man-child working as a delivery driver for his Father's butcher shop. His irresponsible ways have led to him owing a large sum of money to local gangsters who are growing increasingly impatient with David. One day he receives a visit from a lawyer acting on behalf of a sperm bank that received hundreds of deposits from David during his college years. No less than 142 of his unknown children are suing the bank in an attempt to reveal their father's true identity. Thanks to his inept lawyer friend (Pratt), David learns the identities of his children and begins to look them up.
Every time I see Vince Vaughan in a new release I'm reminded of just how long ago 1996's Swingers now seems. That movie introduced us to a fresh faced slimmed down Vaughan, whose infectious performance led us to believe he would take American cinema by storm. Sadly, it never quite happened for Vaughan. After dabbling in second rate thrillers like Gus Van Sant's misjudged Psycho remake, The Cell and Domestic Disturbance, Vaughan returned to his comic comfort zone, churning out a series of comedy misfires from Old School to last year's The Internship. Delivery Man is less broad than his usual fare but it's yet another case of Vaughan on auto-pilot.
Here, writer-director Ken Scott is remaking his 2011 Quebecois sleeper hit Starbuck on an inflated budget. What does he get out of these extra bucks? Well, there's a hell of a lot of crowd scenes. Anyone with an interest in the art of crowd wrangling will be in their element here as David Wozniak's children turn up in their hundreds. It's porn for Assistant Directors. It's also the film's biggest problem. With so many characters for Vaughan to interact with there's no meat in his interactions with any of them. The film focuses on a distinct few - a coffee shop clerk with dreams of acting, an impossibly pretty drug addicted girl and a disabled young man - but their subplots are introduced only to disappear soon after. Smulders appears as Wozniak's now pregnant ex-girlfriend, another plot thread that feels under-developed as are his dealings with money-lenders.
They don't come much blander than this and I'd suggest Vaughan find another agent but I suspect he's happy in his comfort zone.
4/10


Eric Hillis

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