Stupid, Simple Comedy with a Dash of Sentimental

Unfinished Business

            Another weekend, another round of movies, and I start my reviews with the latest comedy on the block entitled Unfinished Business. I can’t lie that I was not excited about this movie when I saw the trailers, but an assignment is an assignment. For those who have seen the trailers, here is what you might:

Expect: Standard comedy, drunken rave scenes, simplistic story, and mediocre acting (at best).

And here is what you get:

Unfinished Business starts out like most Vince Vaughn movies do, slow and stupid. It is a boring opening that is quickly rushed to get to the main focus of the movie, the comedy. No surprise that the comedy is very standardized to the typical slew of cursing, insults, and sexual innuendos. At first there are some standard character quarks that will make you laugh, many already seen in the trailers. Dave Franco’s character at first is hilarious, from his unique last name to his description of various topics; all of quirks made my roommate and I chuckle. Vince Vaughn also puts his comedy worth into the mess that is this movie, making his usual comedic antics in the form of prolonged explanations or over the top antics complemented by his funny looking face. While these methods are quite stale for this reviewer, they still occasionally get me to laugh, and this movie is no different.

The problem with this movie is that they don’t know where to quit, and the comedy for the most part goes down two paths, stale or inappropriate. For the most part, the comedy goes a little too much on the same jokes, often barraging you with old antics. They try to make it funny by overacting, but it just gets stupider, the edge waning as the film progresses. As for inappropriate, there are some things in this movie that I wasn’t prepared, or wanting to see. An awkward sequence in a gay male bar room where penises protrude from doorways was the worst of the shock factor. Seeing Dave Franco get close to the male organs was an image that was way too much for me, and this is coming from someone who watched 50 shades of Gray. Leaving moments like this out would have improved the movie exponentially, which goes to show editing is key!

Pushing on, the drunken rave scenes are well shot, bringing one into the life of German partying. Drugs, booze, and all the fun activities come to life on the screen, to help provide a little relief from the “business” game. If that’s not enough, you can expect to see a lot of boobies in these scenes, many exposed to show the differences in censorship between countries, again could have been left for the uncut version. This reviewer found the rave scene coming in a bit too late, especially when there was only one night of partying instead of the expected weeklong booze fest. On the plus side the scenes is fairly short and does have some diversity to try and maximize the “fun” in these scenes. If movies like Project X and 21 are your cup of tea, sorry to say this movie doesn’t go down that road, despite what the trailers suggested.

Story wise the movie is a little more heart felt than I originally got from the snippets in the commercials. The overall plot of a struggling business needing this deal to succeed is bashed into your brains on a consistent manner. However the business rivalry between the two companies is set to the back burner, disappointing me when there was potential for a decent battle of wits to make things interesting. Instead, the rival business throws a few taunts and sends our group on a trip out of their way due to a tool of a boss. On the other hand, Unfinished Business does have some surprisingly sweet moments in this character driven story. Vaughn in particular is put on a journey of self-discovery, analyzing all aspects of his life such as family, work, and loyalty. Although preachy, this movie does a nice job highlighting pertinent issues of bullying, belief, and determination and at times tugs at your heart, especially if you have been in these situations. It’s sweet and cute, but the story lacks a lot of things I expected in the trailer, which wasn’t much so this is saying something.

As for the acting, there isn’t much to really comment on. Vince Vaughn plays his typical character who has two sides, sentimental and ridiculous. He is a convincing parent in my opinion, a real fun father figure that is also a big kid. However his ridiculous side hasn’t changed much, and I feel does better when balanced with other characters to distract us from his stale act (like in the Internship). Tom Wilkinson’s main strength is putting the right spin on his lines, adding the right amount of ire and dissent to help you feel his disappointment. Dave Franco probably is the show stealer in this movie, showing his diversity by playing a semi-autistic, almost childish, employee. Like Wilkinson he does such a good job with his lines, immersing himself into the character to have you believe he is like this. But, as mentioned earlier, the directors go a little too far with him and the majesty of his acting starts to wane.

Unfinished Business has a lot of unbalanced aspects and was not the movie I pegged it for. Despite the character building and shocking rave scenes, this movie just didn’t do it for me in the fun department. Those who are Vince Vaughn movie fans will find this tale similar to his past work, but otherwise I don’t see many enjoying this film. Redbox or Netflix this movie and check out something else this weekend.

My scores are:

Comedy: 5.0

Movie Overall: 4.5


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