It is often said that Vince Vaughn plays the same character in every one of his movies, and that that shtick is getting pretty tiresome. Well Vince Vaughn must read people’s reviews of Vince Vaughn movies because all of a sudden in “Delivery Man” he drops the quick talking, used car salesman-like attitude and shows a much deeper side.
Based on a Canadian film entitled “Starbuck”, “Delivery Man” follows an underachieving middle aged man (Vaughn) who discovers that, due to a mix up at a fertility clinic, he is the father of 533 children, and that 142 of them are suing to find out his identity. Ken Scott, who wrote and directed the original film, has the same duties here.
I’m not too shy about the fact that I am not a Vince Vaughn fan. Much like Adam Sandler, I find many of his films lazy, uninspired and above all not funny. But it is strange; every movie that Vaughn only acts in (so doesn’t write or produce as well), I find enjoyable. Vaughn only acted in “Dodgeball” and “Wedding Crashers”: I like those films. He wrote and produced “Couple’s Retreat” and “The Internship”: ehh, not so much a fan. Vaughn only did work in front of the camera in “Delivery Man”, and maybe that is one reason I enjoyed it so much.
Vaughn is more relatable and sympathetic in this movie than many of his other roles. I was rooting for him the whole time as he attempts to connect with his 142 children without exposing himself. He never breaks out into those trademark fast-talking Vaughn rants, despite having several opportunities to, so I have to commend him for that. He had charm and heart and some solid chuckles, and that was enough for me.
What makes the movie as pleasant as it is, however, is Chris Pratt, who pays Vaughn’s lawyer friend and overstressed father of 4. Pratt just has a great screen presence and a couple great pieces of dialogue, and each and every big laugh in the film comes from him. Without Pratt, the movie would have just been another feel-good dramedy; he pushes it the extra mile.
There really isn’t anything wrong with the movie except for some its construction. There are a few plot points that seem forced, and others that just go away without any real reason, such as Vaughn owing money to the mob.
“Delivery Man” is pretty much what the holiday season is all about: spending time with your family, some of whom you may have never met, and having moments that are funny, awkward and heartwarming, sometimes all at once. A hat off to Vaughn for having a change of pace in his films, and hopefully it is a trend that continues.
Critics Rating: 7/10