DELIVERY MAN review by Gary Murray – Vince Vaughn becomes an unexpected father to over 500 kids

DELIVERY MAN review by Gary Murray – Vince Vaughn becomes an unexpected father to over 500 kids


Vince Vaughn has gone from a small character actor to one of the biggest stars on the planet. Some of his more notable films have included WEDDING CRASHERS, THE BREAK-UP and FOUR CHRISTMASES. While many would say he’s a go-to guy for zany comedies and romantic comedies, his latest is a slight departure called DELIVERY MAN.

Vince plays David, a slacker kind of guy who works as a delivery driver in the family meat business. His brother Aleksy (Saturday Night Live‘s Bobby Moynihan) is an expectant father and his best buddy/lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) has a mess of young ones. David has an estranged girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) who believes that he has no responsibility and drive.

One day, a lawyer pops up at David’s apartment. It seems back in 1991 David made a few donations to the local sperm bank under the name “Starbuck.” The lawyer informs David that he has sired 533 children. Of that group 142 have filed a class action suit to find out his identity. They all want to know who their daddy actually is.

This throws a serious wrench into David’s life. Brett keeps pushing him to enter an insanity plea. David is given a packet of info on the kids and, ignoring his lawyer’s advice, pulls out one of the papers. He discovers that the first name pulled is a basketball player for The Knicks.

This revelation pushes David to become involved in the lives of all his biological kids. He becomes their guardian angel and begins to bond with each and every one of them. At the same time he finds out that his girlfriend Emma is expecting. The forces of the Starbuck kids in court versus David’s right to his privacy drive the film to its obvious conclusion.

This is easily the strongest Vince Vaughn performance in his career. But to be honest, that is not saying too much. The actor has been skating on his flippant attitude in dozens of films over the years. This is a very subtle and moving performance with an unexpected heart. The problem is that it’s just not that funny or that romantic.

The big surprise is how much of an artist Chris Pratt has become in the last few years. The actor is best known for his supporting role in the sitcom Parks and Recreation to acting roles in such diverse flicks as MONEYBALL and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Here he gets to play a comic and intelligent character. He is easily the best element in the film.

Cobie Smulders plays the girlfriend role, the reaction to David. She looks great, but in a film about family the expectant mother is not asked to do anything more than breed. Since there are so many kids, there are almost no standouts in the secondary cast. It becomes a swarm of lost young people. The story would have worked better if they had focused on a few kids… telling less tales would have flowed better.

The production is written and directed by Ken Scott, who crafted the 2011 movie STARBUCK that this film is based on. One has to wonder why someone would remake a movie they made just a few years ago. Yes, he’s given a bigger budget and a stronger cast but one has still has to wonder… why do it? Remaking the same film over and over again is something George Lucas is known for, and why infringe on his gig.

At the end, DELIVERY MAN is a very pro-life, pro-family production, it is just not that funny of a film. All the best jokes are in the trailer, leaving the end result as a nice diversion but not great filmmaking. This is the season for Oscar contenders and this one is not up to that standard. It is charming but hardly riveting.

DELIVERY MAN opens November 22, 2013

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