It’s 2013 and it’s time to approach Vince Vaughn, sit him down in a comfortable chair, offer him a glass of vodka and tell him very quietly, that he is no longer a funny or a likeable guy. It’s the harsh, bitter truth but one that has to be conveyed to the man before he makes any further embarrassment of himself.
Directed by Ken Scott and a remake of Scott’s own 2011 Canadian movie Starbuck, Delivery Man tries really, really hard to be a good-natured comedy with a dose of icky sweet drama and it just stumbles in every scene, failing to amuse and slipping up in the dramatic department. Why anyone would remake their own hit film in two years -- with Vince Vaughn, an obviously failing actor remains a mystery -- maybe director Scott saw Gus Van Sant’s shot by shot remake of Psycho and developed some sort of strange obsession to ruin his own life’s work.
Starbuck chronicles a man named David (Vaughn) who is pretty much an on screen version of Vaughn. The guy is an unreliable, untrustworthy bloke neck deep in loans with a dwindling career and a roadblock of a love life. Things take a turn when one day, a lawyer shows up and tells him that his trips to the fertility clinic have made him a father of 533 children and that 142 of them want to meet their dad. Unsure of how to react and what to do, David spies on the kids and tries desperately to enter their lives without revealing who he really is. And like Vaughn has played the card in so many of his other comedies, his character is faced with the responsibility of becoming an adult instead of a man-child when his girlfriend tells him that she’s pregnant.
Delivery Man sticks very closely to Starbuck: some of the shots and even the lines remain the same, except with new faces mouthing them. What really hurts this film is that the filmmakers try to compensate for the mediocrity of the remake by overdoing the highlights of the original movie.
Scott should have realised it was the kiss of death when he thought of making Hollywood folks deliver his offbeat French-Canadian humour. Even Chris Pratt, who is so hilarious in Parks and Rec is wasted here in a boring role and he looks all too uncomfortable in his scenes, as if he doesn’t want to stay on the set for even a minute.
The process of man-children frat boys ‘growing up’ has really been done to death in movies and especially so by Vaughn and Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers ten years ago. Unless Vaughn breaks some new ground and chooses newer material, he’s going to be box office poison.