In lieu of a traditional review, I would like to take this opportunity to write an open letter to Vince Vaughn:
Mr. Vaughn (Vince? Vinnie? T-Bone?),
Bro. Come on. What are you doing? You’re better than this. Why do you insist on starring in these milquetoast comedies that don’t allow you to flex your comedic chops? Is this on purpose? Are you just getting tired as you get older? I feel ya on that, but this is getting out of control. The Internship? The Dilemma? Couples Retreat? The Watch?! Now, Delivery Man… Dude. You’re not even trying anymore. I get it, these terrible movies have intriguing premises and I can see how you were drawn to these projects, but in spite of the horrendous flaws of each of these films, you manage to be the biggest disappointment about each one of them.
You’ve done some great stuff: Wedding Crashers, Old School, Dodge Ball, The Cell, Made, SWINGERS! You can act. This latest string of films is not acceptable. If you hope to continue getting huge pay days, you need to step it up, because you are fast becoming box office poison. I no longer get excited when I see your name attached to a project and that makes me sad.
Let’s talk about Delivery Man, T-bone. I know it’s a retelling of the 2011 Canadian film Starbuck, which I am loathe to see after watching your version, but how do you mess up a story about a guy who finds out he is the father of over 500 children, after a group of them sue a fertility clinic to find out who their real father is? Implausibility aside (if your character is dead broke, how does he have such a nice, spacious apartment in NYC?), this had the potential to be a hilarious story. Granted, the script needed some work, so it is not entirely your fault. The scenes where you meet your children in various scenarios are rote at best, but you portray David with the alacrity of a tree stump. If this was the first movie someone saw you in, they would think Kristen Stewart has more emotional range than you. That’s pretty bad, man. You are the star, the emotional center of this story. Make us believe you care about these kids and that you struggle with wanting to be a better person. Your expression on the poster for this film sums up your entire performance, it says to me: “Whatevs, I got a fat check to do this.”
Fortunately you were not able to corrupt Chris Pratt with your lackluster mien. Pratt kills his role as Brett, your friend and lawyer, who helps in your defense against the children’s lawsuit, as well as your counter-suit against the fertility clinic. Pratt continues to show his flexibility as an actor, with roles in dramas such as Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty, while maintaining the oafish charm of Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. Pratt is coming up the ladder fast, you need to help guide him and other younger comedic actors with your knowledge and skill. Don’t let them see you phone it in like this.
Now I can’t really say if it was you, or if there was just a mutual lack of chemistry with Cobie Smulders, but that relationship just did not work. I got the impression that you were about as excited to be with her as you would be to get a colonoscopy. This is where your fast talking, smooth and witty repartee is supposed to charm the beautiful babies, as well as the audience. Now it’s like you ate some peanut butter that’s stuck to the roof of your mouth. Are you giving up on that type of manic line reading? Did you sell that shtick to Miles Teller, who seems to be copying your cadence and style? Don’t let that dude take what’s yours, own it you motorboatin’ son of a bitch!
While I know as time goes on, people change. I may just be clinging to a bygone era, dreaming of the halcyon days of the raunchy, witty, subversive comedy. I also understand that the material out there has become trite and cliched with few sparks of originality. Maybe I just felt this one had potential, but it really didn’t and you really did give it your all to save this sinking ship. I just can’t ignore your recent film history and suspect otherwise. Reclaim what is rightfully yours. The crown of the lewd, crude, smooth talker lays unadorned upon its rightful place on your head. Become the Vince Vaughn we all once knew and loved. And if you do, you know who the big winner is? That’s right! Vinnie is the big winner!
Nate S. Yetman, Esq.
The Good: Chris Pratt
The Bad: The Sloppy Script
The Ugly: Vince Vaughn’s Apathy