Vince Vaughn plays new business owner Dan Trunkman in what is ostensibly the worst film thus far in 2015. Why this movie is billed as a comedy is beyond comprehension, because there is not one single funny moment. In fact, "Unfinished Business" is so not amusing, that it is actually painful to watch.
Dan has been working for years for Chuck Portnoy (Sienna Miller --- really? Chuck?), a real ball-buster, who uses sex to get what she wants. Dan gets the bright idea of going out on his own with two associates, Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson), an over-the-hill salesman, and Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), a somewhat mentally-challenged newbie at sales.
To seal a big deal, the guys must first fly to Portland, Maine, only to learn that they must travel further to Berlin. At home, Dan's two children are suffering with school problems. Paul (Britton Sear), his obese son, is being bullied, and Bess (Ella Anderson) is a pint-sized bullier herself.
Did I mention that this is not at all funny? "Unfinished Business" is offensive --- R-rated --- stupid, all over the map and decidedly not at all entertaining. Even Nick Frost, who is always hilarious, is horrible as a gay employee at the firm where Dan is trying to negotiate his deal. The script by Steve Conrad can't decide if it wants to be a comedy or a drama about bullying.
I'm actually concerned about Vaughn. His last five or six films have been a disaster. Perhaps he's laughing all the way to the bank, but his street cred for comedy has to be suffering. And Wilkinson is downright awful --- not something I ever thought I would write about him. His on-going shtick about wanting a divorce so he can have sex "wheelbarrow" style is so incredibly insulting and repulsive, one has to wonder how he got the words out of his mouth.
Franco is ludicrous, and the fact that women keep falling all over him is absurd. Which is a huge reason why "Unfinished Business" is so offensive. Conrad has penned a misogynistic script that does nothing but objectify women, starting with Miller's character and ending with the hotel maid who falls for Wilkinson.
I am so very, very tired of crass writing masquerading as humor. Penises hanging out of holes in the men's room at a gay bar is NOT humorous. Nor is Franco falling into one as a sight gag. In addition, everyone snickering every time Mike says his last name "Pancake" is pathetic. If this is the best Conrad and director Ken Scott can do, they should look for new employment.
"Unfinished Business" is sloppy, tiresome, poorly constructed and ultimately awful. The entire cast and crew should be ashamed of themselves.
Opinion: Huge Don't Bother!
Call me crazy, but if you're a struggling new business owner, and you want to impress potential clients, would you have your mentally-challenged young salesman traipse around in a suit with a backpack? Or have him substitute for you in giving an important presentation where first impressions count?
These are just a couple of examples of the idiocy associated with the latest Vince Vaughn comic disaster. It's been 10 years since Vaughn hit it big with "Wedding Crashers". Other than being handsomely compensated, he hasn't challenged himself in anything since --- just sub-par material like "The Watch" and the abhorrent "Couples Retreat".
"Unfinished Business" co-stars Dave Franco as the young "talent", and Tom Wilkinson in an embarrassing departure from his usual fine work. Franco's character is an insult to mentally-challenged individuals, and Wilkinson's Timothy McWinters is an oversexed, bong-smoking, middle-aged-on-the-verge-of-elderly salesman. What was he thinking?
The opening scene features Vaughn's character, Dan Trunkman, a top salesman, having a very public argument in the office with his boss, Chuck Portnoy --- yes, Chuck is a woman --- played by Sienna Miller, an equally bad career choice for her. It's a really dumb scene, one that wouldn't occur in just about any office situation. But their clash sets the stage for Dan to quit and start his own company.
One inane running joke centers around Franco's character's last name, which is Pancake. When he is introduced at a crucial meeting with the client Dan thought was a "done deal", the company's division head, played by James Marsdan, makes a big thing of "Pancake". And the talent of Nick Frost, an employee at the same firm --- he's so consistently good as Simon Pegg's usual accomplice in film --- is wasted with the inept screenplay by Steve Conrad.
The movie had a chance to be better, but when the subject turns to something as timely as school bullying, it barely scratches the surface. Anything smacking of something serious is just an excuse for more lame attempts at humor, especially the sexual kind, from director Ken Scott, who also worked with Vaughn on the equally unintelligent "Delivery Man".
Nothing in this film is funny. Not the sauna scene where Trunkman waltzes in fully clothed to strike a deal with a totally nude female. Nor when Trunkman is splattered by riot-control police paintballs while in Berlin. And neither of Mike's attempts at the sex position known as the "wheelbarrow".
Other than the little girl who plays Vaughn's daughter, nine-year-old Ella Anderson, "Unfinished Business" is a complete waste of time.
Opinion: Don't Bother!