Delivery Man

Posted: February 23, 2014 in Film
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Poster
As the old adage goes: curiosity killed the cat.

Well, I wanted to kill myself for letting my curiosity lead to watching Delivery Man. Although it’s almost a shot-for-shot remake of Starbuck (by the same writer/director Ken Scott), Delivery Man is an abysmal train wreck of a film that continuously appears uninspired—failing to aspire to be anything worthwhile.

Why didn’t I listen to myself? As soon as Vince Vaughn was cast as David Wozniak, I declared a ban on this movie. But a boring weekend afternoon broke that decree. Unfortunately, all my fears about Delivery Man came true as the American version culminated in an embarrassing, hollow comedic misstep.

While the ill-fated casting decision of Vince Vaughn doomed the production, Vince Vaughn’s carefree (lazy) acting was far from the only bad thing about Delivery Man. Chris Pratt came through with a charisma-free performance in his supporting role as Brett—David’s best friend and lawyer. Cobie Smulders’ performance was similarly terrible as Emma—David’s pregnant girlfriend and love interest.

Starbuck benefitted from terrific performances in these roles, which helped give the movie a heart.

Vaughn

There is no such heartbeat in Delivery Man. Intentional or not, this remake insults the intelligence of the audience. There is no harmonious balance between the dramatic and comedic scenes. By playing up the schmaltz even in a serious context, Delivery Man squirms with obvious awkward discomfort during the real dramatic moments—seemingly wanting to gloss over those plot points altogether.

In particular, Delivery Man fucks up two key scenes: the initial reveal of the story and David’s interaction with his disabled son. Whereas Starbuck presents the severity of David’s debt problems before the reveal, Delivery Man jumps into the lawyer tracking down David and telling him the news—in a humorless fashion. My most significant issue is the scene in which David hesitantly visits his disabled son. Delivery Man cuts this scene in half and tries to move on too quickly. It’s a necessary plot point so it can’t be removed entirely, but you can tell that would have been the preferred option.

Without an emotional core, Delivery Man is a dull movie just going through the motions. It’s not that Vince Vaughn isn’t capable of actually acting; Vince Vaughn is no longer motivated or interested in that aspect of acting anymore. Delivery Man is another victim of Vince Vaughn. Don’t let Vince Vaughn hurt you again.

Please do not give in and watch Delivery Man. In retrospect, Starbuck now deserves a bump up (by a half-point) to a 5-star rating. If there’s any silver lining to Delivery Man, it’s an increased appreciation for Starbuck’s nearly perfect execution and delivery. The big question that I’ll always have is how Delivery Man went so wrong when Starbuck went so well with the same writer/director.

I’ll never know who truly deserves the burden of blame, but I have a feeling I know the culprit…

It's Not OK

1 out of 5 stars

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