One absolute truth exists in the world of film when it comes to remakes: They will always be compared to their predecessors. It’s an inevitable part of making a remake, regardless of whether you’re remaking an old film or remaking a film that originally came from a different country. Some of you might think this is an unfair standard, but think about, why would you remake a classic? One of the only acceptable answers would be to modernize it and add a new twist to it. I’m not saying that doing this will make the film any good, because it is still a huge risk, but if done correctly, it can be a huge success.
So what about remaking a film that came out fairly recently, from a different country, in the same continent, but in a different language? Nothing is more of a slap in the figurative face of a film than having the gall to remake it only because it was originally in French. What can be said when a writer/director remake’s his own movie so soon? Nothing good when you replace the original actor with Vincent Vaughn.
David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is a down-on-his-luck, irresponsible, immature delivery man for his father’s company. He also has a pregnant girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) who is soon to become his ex, and has the mob after him for the large amount of money he owes them. As if his life wasn’t already on the brink of collapse, he finds out from his friend/lawyer (Chris Pratt) that the sperm clinic David has been going to for years (under the pseudonym “Starbuck”) has only been using his sperm on its patients. That means David’s sperm was used to father 533 children, and 142 are suing the clinic to find out the real identity of Starbuck. Instead of being a normal person and letting the courts handle this, David decides to pay each of the 142 kids a visit and anonymously help them out, but in the end, will that be enough?
After the brief lesson on remakes, I’m sure you know how this review will go. Despite writer/director Ken Scott’s best (financially motivated) intentions, this near exact copy of his French-Canadian film Starbuck is shooting blanks. Delivery Man fails to have the potency to implant genuine emotions that linger, and don’t just get swept away by flat one-liners and campy hijinks. The unfortunate fact is that the potential is there, with the children of David Wozniak setting up each potentially endearing moment, only to have Vaughn fumble through each scene with his over-done, buddy affability that may have worked for him several years ago, but now the only phrase that comes to mind is “one-trick pony”. To his compliment, Vince Vaughn does try to deliver an emotional depth we have yet to see from him, and while he does give us something closely resembling that, it is too little and too late.
Delivery Man does inspire a note of sympathy, but not because of the subject matter of the story. Ken Scott’s near exact translation of his previous film Starbuck fails to deliver the same charm and sincerity his previous film had, mainly due to the immaturity of acting skills that Vince Vaughn possesses. This is one package you won’t want to sign for.
RATING: ★★★(3/10 stars)
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