A movie review of “Unfinished Business”: This Vince Vaughn comedy is a guys-gone-wild romp in the well-worn tradition of Todd Phillips’ “Hangover” franchise.
In the years since he strutted onto the scene — lean, handsome, mouth running a mile a minute — in Doug Liman’s “Swingers” (1996), Vince Vaughn has become one of the poster boys for mainstream American comedy: from romantic (“The Break-Up”) to bromantic (“Old School”), pretty good (“Wedding Crashers”) to very bad (“Fred Claus”) to frankly unnecessary (“Delivery Man”).
His new film, “Unfinished Business,” falls into that last subcategory — perhaps not coincidentally, as it, too, has been directed by Ken Scott (“Delivery Man” was Scott’s remake of his own homegrown Québécois hit, “Starbuck”). A guys-gone-wild romp in the well-worn tradition of Todd Phillips’ “Hangover” franchise, this is the latest example of a movie that doesn’t work hard enough to freshen up formulas used and abused by filmmakers like Phillips and Judd Apatow.
Vaughn plays Dan, a St. Louis sales exec who quits his job toiling for a bullying boss named Chuck (Sienna Miller) and starts his own company with two fellow workplace outcasts: retirement-age Timothy (Tom Wilkinson) and sweet-natured but slow-witted Mike (Dave Franco). The trio travels first to Maine, then to Europe in an effort to beat out Chuck for a lucrative deal with a firm fronted by Jim Spinch (James Marsden).
‘Unfinished Business,’ with Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden. Directed by Ken Scott, from a screenplay by Steve Conrad. 91 minutes. Rated R for some violence and language. Several theaters.
The Hollywood Reporter does not provide star ratings with reviews.
Needless to say chaos ensues.
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When it’s not indulging in lowbrow sex humor (not a bad thing in itself, mind you), the script tosses around some very lame jokes — sometimes repeatedly.
Vaughn’s work here might be best described as functional.If the movie has a bright spot, it’s Franco. Speaking in stoner-surfer cadences, his face regularly expanding into an infectiously goofy grin, the actor is the one person on-screen who seems determined to cobble together what little he’s given into a distinctive character.