Delivery Man (2014)

Delivery Man (2014)

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"Hello everyone, my name is Vince Vaughn and I am clearly not dressed for this occasion."
“Hello everyone, my name is Vince Vaughn and I am clearly not dressed for this occasion.”

Twitter Plot Summary: David Wozniak finds out that, following his sperm bank donations, he is the father of 533 children. And his girlfriend is pregnant.

Five Point Summary:

1. Meat driver.
2. Money troubles, drugs, and a girlfriend who’s a police officer…
3. Weekend away with the kids. All 533 of them.
4. The court case resolves.
5. Ooh it’s a baby!

David Wozniak (Vaughn) is a man living a life with no direction. He delivers meat for the family business, is generally non-committal to his girlfriend, and he also happens to owe a ridiculous amount of money to some shady drug dealer types. All in all, his outlook is bleak. Then things get a whole lot worse – he finds out that he’s the target of a lawsuit from his 500-plus biological children. Yes, that does read correctly – 500-plus. Some years previously, David had made a ridiculous amount of donations at a sperm bank to earn some easy money, for reasons that will become apparent later. Rather than back off and let the matter fade into obscurity, David decides to meet some of his kids and act as a sort of guardian angel for them, like a non Quantum Leaping Sam Beckett.

Delivery Man is interesting in that it’s a remake of the recent French-Canadian production, but from the same writer/director of that film. Why it necessitated a remake, and so recently after the original too, with added Vince Vaughn, screams “blatant money making cash-in”, but then who am I to judge if that really is the case – it does at least get the film out to a wider audience. Case in point – I’d not heard of the original film until seeing this, and I’ll probably watch it at some point, so I’d say that counts as a win for the director.

Vaughn is in unnusually restrained form as David, although at times he does allow his typical sarcastic delivery come to the fore. Chris Pratt is in top form as David’s mostly inept lawyer, his inability to deal with four kids and their refusal to listen to a word he says no doubt a chilling reflection on the lives of many parents in the audience. Sadly for Cobie Smulders there is little for her to do except complain about David and his man-child existence and look attractive in a police uniform. Character development? Nada.

All he could do was ride away as fast as he could, and put the image of Cobie Smulders in a police uniform out of his mind.
All he could do was ride away as fast as he could, and put the image of Cobie Smulders in a police uniform out of his mind.

The most engaging aspect for me was David meeting one of his kids who is disabled. This was actually quite a touching part of the story and grounds it in such a way that you can forgive some of the suspect plotting that occasionally creeps in. Vaughn does well to portray the emotional numbness that this meeting creates, and those scenes are worth the price of entry alone. Other than this, to say it’s an inoffensive Vince Vaughn vehicle would be entirely accurate. It’s nowhere near as bad as most of his recent output, but neither is it entirely spectacular. He gets to do something a little bit different and that’s be mostly normal. That in itself is not enough to sell the film for most, but it does at least have a pleasing core storyline that has a moderate emotional range to it, even if the entire situation is completely ridiculous in the first place. I’ve not seen the original French-Canadian film, and after this I’m not sure I need to. The story plays out with few or no surprises, and those expecting a typical Vince Vaughn comedy will be sorely disappointed. Still, the emotional heart of the film is solid, and may warrant at least a repeat viewing at some future, undisclosed date. Until then, file under “okay, but seen better”.

Score: 3/5

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