Unfinished Business, 2015.
Directed by Ken Scott.
Starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, Nick Frost and James Marsden.
A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every way imaginable – and unimaginable.
I like to think that I have a pretty high tolerance for crude and crass comedy, or at least much higher than the average critic. With that said, even I couldn’t believe the amount of graphic content that Unfinished Business repeatedly hurls your way; the only problem is that most of the time the antics reek of desperation to get a juvenile laugh out of the audience because the rest of the film is so unfocused that, I’m assuming the writers just said “F*** it, let’s just toss some boobs and dicks in there every five minutes and be done with it”.
To expand on that, Unfinished Business stars Vince Vaughn as a disgruntled employee tired of not being able to spend time with his family, that quits his job to start his own business and essentially make his own hours. It becomes clear early on that the negligence of his elementary school aged children has had a negative impact on their social lives; one is fat and bullied, while the other is a bully. This means that when the movie isn’t shoving a dick in your face, it’s usually being awkwardly sentimental about the effects of bullying, being there for your children, and fighting through bad times to reach good times. Of course, none of this actually works because it is such a tonal dissonance from the rest of the comedy, but at least they tried to put some sort of worthwhile message into the debauchery.
Seeing as Vince Vaughn is the sane member of the comedy trio, it only makes sense that his partners serve up the comedy that sends the business trip to Germany off the rails. Tom Wilkinson hilariously plays a lonely elderly man who just wants to have sex with a woman he loves (apparently he didn’t love his wife) but it is Dave Franco who doesn’t just steal the show, but salvages what would have been a total disaster of a film otherwise. Yes, his character is unbelievably stupid but with Franco’s shyness and abundantly clear kindness, he quickly becomes a lovable doofus. It’s hard not to love his smile either.
Franco can bring a movie back from the brink of atrocity, but unfortunately he can’t make it worthwhile. Unfinished Business has quite a few creative ideas that one would think would lead to hilarious results (Vince Vaughn ends up at a hotel that is actually an art museum, meaning that throughout the duration of his stay he is an exhibit for citizens to observe) but nothing gold ever comes out of it. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but the funniest moment of Unfinished Business is when Franco goes to shake a glory hole penis as if it were a hand, but trips and falls face first on the meat.
Part vulgar comedy and part family comedy, Unfinished Business makes for one of the more stranger comedy outings in a while, but the camaraderie between the three leads occasionally makes for some good laughs. If nothing else, it is proof that Dave Franco deserves to be a star and may have more talent than his brother.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook