Delivery Man is a grown-up comedy for Vince Vaughn | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Delivery Man is a grown-up comedy for Vince Vaughn 

Cobie Smulders and Vince Vaughn in "Delivery Man"

Photo by Jessica Miglio/ Dreamworks

Cobie Smulders and Vince Vaughn in "Delivery Man"

Since Vince Vaughn's breakout performance in Swingers, audiences have come to expect certain things when he appears onscreen. Manic energy and a snarky attitude have been the actor's main character traits in so many movies crafted by lazy filmmakers that it's easy to mistake Vaughn as being responsible. So it comes as a small surprise that Delivery Man, a remake of the French-Canadian hit Starbuck, offers Vaughn his most nuanced starring role in more than a decade.

Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a meat delivery driver for his family's business in Manhattan. As the film opens, David is already under duress from a six-figure debt he owes to the mob and the revelation that his cop girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant.

A lawyer representing a sperm donor facility David frequented more than two decades earlier reveals that, because of an administrative mistake, he is the father of more than 100 children, which seems like the cue for Vaughn's trademark antics. But writer-director Ken Scott has other ideas.

Scott, who was responsible for the original Canadian hit, has written a script that allows David's relative goodness to shine through slowly but steadily. Acquiring a packet of information about his children from his best friend and lawyer (Chris Pratt), David pulls one out at random and finds he is the father of a New York Knicks star. It would be easy to assume this is setting up a tired Hollywood comedy in which all of the kids are shown to be superstar athletes or artists of amazing skill. Instead, Scott lets the situation slowly evolve, allowing the kids to have their own personalities and skills.

All of these unexpected merits are not meant to suggest that Delivery Man is great; hell, it's hard to definitively qualify it as good. While Vaughn definitely allows Scott to tone down his antics, there's clearly a reason the actor doesn't appear in many dramas. He may be surprisingly "real" here, but Vaughn is still a weak actor barely able to rise to the occasion.

For all of the admiration due to Scott for his work with Vaughn, his script still can't rise above the solutions given to conflicts in a mediocre television sitcom. If the kids want to find out David's identity, do you really think they're not going to, regardless of a judge's ruling? If David and his girlfriend have a big fight with only five minutes left in the film, who in the audience actually believes a studio would accept an unhappy ending for a major release? Such predictability brings Delivery Man down in the end.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Man trouble."

Film Details

Delivery Man
Rated PG-13 · 105 min. · 2013
Official Site: www.facebook.com/DeliveryManMovie
Director: Ken Scott
Writer: Ken Scott
Producer: Andre Rouleau
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Jack Reynor, Glenn Fleshler, Matthew Daddario, Van Hughes, Erin Gerasimovich and Ben Bailey

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Delivery Man

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

Most Recent Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

I was born and raised in Bertie County, and believe me, this was painful and beautiful to watch. I was …

by Tar Heels forever on Know More About Manhattan Than Your Embattled Neighbors in Rural North Carolina? Then See Raising Bertie. (Film Review)

Clint's film is trashy? maybe that's why all of us pigs would like to wallow in it.

by Jovana Dimitrijevic on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation