I think I’ve said it before in my reviews, but you either love or hate Vince Vaugn. I’ve seen arguments from both sides of the spectrum, and I have to agree that he’s not the best when it comes to acting…however I don’t think he’s bad. He’s basically your typical typecasted actor that likes to play similar roles and have similar run-on sentence lines…but the movies aren’t bad. Unfinished Business is his latest endeavor, and I didn’t think it was too bad either.
Unfinished Business is about a man starting his own business solely to make a point and stand as a competetor to his old business. The new business has a grand total of three colorful employees including Vince Vaughn, and their basic goal is to get a legendary handshake which sets their success in stone. Meanwhile, Vaughn has trouble communicating to his children, as they both have individual issues at school and home.
My three-word review this time was: Three unconnected stories. It’s true, each part of this plot was dealt with like separate entities that played simultaneously. There was 1.) The competition between the businesses, the 2.) Story about bullying with his overweight son, and 3.) His daughter’s homework assignment explaining who her dad was that he had to help her with. Because of the three different stories, you have a mix/mash of tones. The business matters were, for the most part, comedic – while the family stuff back home tended to be really dramatic and heartfelt. These two tones were unbalanced and don’t work amazingly in unity – but it’s not a big deal. For some reason, you like it all – and I think that’s what really matters.
As far as comedy goes, Vince Vaughn doesn’t come out on top, but instead I think Dave Franco does brilliantly as the bumbling moronic business partner. I won’t lie – I laughed a lot during the scenes that give him importance. Tom Wilkinson is also okay, but out of the three of them…he was probably the most replaceable character, unfortunately. The kids I loved, their stories were believable and relatable – and they made Vince Vaughn look like a genuinely good guy – which I believe he needs sometimes.
Like I said before though, the biggest flaw this film had was determining what it wanted to be. Did it want to be a ‘Rated R Comedy’ or did it want to be something deeper and emotional than that? It had elements of both, and the main problem with that lies in the transitions. A smooth transition can make a terrible movie into a remarkable one…and this had great trouble in that department. You go from hard laughs and nudity – directly to a scene with his son that makes you feel bad for laughing just a few seconds ago. You can’t juggle around an audience’s emotions like that – as scenes on their own, they are great individually speaking, but together they seem unbalanced and confusing…from a film appreciator’s perspective.
Generally speaking, Unfinished Business isn’t too shabby. There are some good laughs strewn throughout the movie, thanks to Dave Franco’s idiotic charade – and the scenes with Vince Vaughns’s kids made his character noble and all around good.
Pacing and tone is definitely where this film lacked. As far as comedy and drama go, they played polar opposites in the film, and lacked an appropriate transition between the extremes – making the film as a whole feel a bit unbalanced.