Vince Vaughan’s acting persona ranges from loveable rogue in comedy classics such as Dodgeball and Wedding Crashers, to, er, lovable rogue in the not-so-classic Four Christmases. We’ve seen the odd attempt at ‘villainy’, for example in Anchorman, but generally he plays a very similar, if not the same character in most of his comedic roles.
Unfinished Business is no different from Vince the norm: once again we see the return of the down-to-earth, straightforward, loveable protagonist, accompanied by his two awkwardly comedic sidekicks.
This time Vince is playing a hard working business man, Dan Trunkman, who abruptly gets pushed from his job and, never one to wallow in misery, soon decides to set up his own business. Enter his fellow associates, Mike Pancake (Dave Franco) and Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson). They spend a year attempting to climb the business ladder and then the trio are flown out to Berlin to sign off on a crucial deal. Unsurprisingly, what begins as a standard business trip soon escalates into a complicated and barely imaginable train of events.
Vaughan and Franco are good as always, bringing their likeable presence to the screen easily, while Wilkinson plays the straight man to comic effect as only he can. However, you do need to be in the right frame of mind for a movie like this, and if you’re expecting the jokes to be of a certain calibre, prepare to be sadly disappointed. The movie’s main problem is that it’s not much more than a re-hash of all Vaughan’s previous work; nothing new or intriguing is brought to the table. Both the script and plot verge on bland and predictable, a situation made worse by being slightly mismanaged by director and actors alike. Perhaps worst of all, the ending is awkwardly unrealistic and rushed – everything gets resolved rather too easily.
But let us be realistic, and honest: people don’t go to a Vaughan movie for the quality cinematography or the outstanding script, they go for a good laugh and a big feel-good factor, and on this level Unfinished Business certainly delivers. If you’re looking for an easy, low-brow movie to kill a few hours and make you laugh, it definitely hits the spot. Just don’t expect much else from (yet) another Vaughan comedy.
It will be interesting to see Vaughan take on a new role in the upcoming sequel to the outstanding True Detective series – let’s hope we glimpse the Return to Paradise Vaughan again in that.