"Delivery Man" Review: Craig's First Take

Photo Credit: © 2013 - Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

I had a bad feeling that the first scene of this movie would involve a couple learning, to their great detriment, that they are in fact brother and sister. But if there is one thing I must give Ken Scott’s remake of his own Canadian film “Starbuck” credit for, he avoids incest jokes. Take that compliment however you would like. That the film holds few laughs and just as many warm feelings is an entirely different matter though.

Vince Vaughn continues to try and family-ize himself as Dave Wozniak, an unreliable meat delivery man who is in deep with loan sharks. Even his girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) would rather raise their upcoming child by herself than wait for Dave to shape up. We then learn that 23 years ago Dave would frequent the sperm bank pretty often, under the name Starbuck, and because of complications the clinic had to use his juice to spawn 533 times, a third of whom are suing to know who he is.

Vaughn commits himself well here as this affable, slackerish guy while Chris Pratt scores some of the films best laughs as Dave’s friend, an exhausted single dad still trying to prove himself to his mother. But when jokes include telling a character repeatedly he has mental problems or another character gushing over his sons poopy diapers, most of this just comes off as lame.

The bigger disappointment though is that the film turns into mostly nothing. Scenes meant to be funny instead make no sense (Dave fills in at his sons job in a predictably unhelpful way), scenes where Dave could learn a thing or two about responsible parenting become vague and simplistically concluded (his daughter has a drug problem), and a scene where he bonds with a mentally challenged son just comes off as a false, easy way to wring out tears. It’s odd that once Dave even starts hanging out with the kids involved with this lawsuit, none of them question the nearly 20+ year age difference between themselves and this older guy who starts showing up at their gatherings. Dave’s dealings with most of them are dealt with in montage, leading more so to the lack of anything interesting going on between Dave and them.

The last half hour or so looks at the ethics of all this; this isn’t all that funny or heartwarming either but at least it feels right. But “Man” does not. It’s just one of those average movies that never fulfills a purpose.

P.S- If you like this, Bollywood and the French are apparently doing remakes of “Starbuck” as well. This is one of the few movies I can recall that seems to be doing a scene for scene world tour.