‘Unfinished Business’ is Just That

by Joe Jarosz on March 6, 2015

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down]

At the midway point of Unfinished Business, I had realized where I had seen this movie before. A business owner and his team travel the country, to make sure a deal gets done. Along the way, there’s another company trying to sabotage their deal. Other hijinx ensue, including an accident with a reindeer. I liked this movie more the first time I saw it, when it was called Tommy Boy.

Now the movies aren’t exactly alike, but there were enough similarities to bother me. One of the biggest differences — and I suspect this will cost me some readers and critic cred — was Tommy Boy was funnier in its execution.

Vince Vaughn stars as Dan Trunkman, the owner of a company he obviously doesn’t love but continues to keep afloat because he’s got a family. The company isn’t big, it’s actually only three people. Trunkman is joined by his two associates, Tim (Tom Wilkinson) and the sweet, but dumb, Mike (Dave Franco). Mike has the unfortunate luck of having the same last name as a tasty breakfast treat, which is funny at first, but the joke wears thin quickly.

The three head to Portland, Maine to close the most important deal of their lives. Without this, the company goes under. But the routine business trip quickly goes off the rails when the three learn they have to go to Berlin in order to get the coveted handshake of agreement they so sorely need. Conveniently, they have to travel to Germany during Oktoberfest, the Berlin Marathon, a sex fetish convention, and a global economic summit.

On top of his company’s crisis, Dan has to FaceTime with his family to attempt to solve the problems going on at home. His son Paul (Britton Sear) is getting bullied at school. During one conversation, dad asks how many students in Paul’s class bully him, for which Paul replies he’s in a class of 42 and 41 bully him. It’s that bad. Dan also has a daughter, and she recently got sent home from school because she fought another student. It seems as if Dan just can’t keep his life together.

Throughout the movie, Vaughn is playing the straight man to Franco’s dumb witted Mike and Wilkinson’s pervy, old Tim. There are a few good laughs, but nothing sticks out. This is a passable comedy, that will quickly be forgotten by those who see it. I was hoping for more from this movie because it was Vaughn’s first R-rated comedy since Wedding Crashers, which was released 10 years ago.

Vaughn has been cast in the second season of True Detective. The HBO show, along with a slew of low-budget films, helped revive Matthew McConaughey’s career. I hope the same happens for Vaughn. He is an immensely talented actor with range from low-brow comedy to serious drama. But over the last few years, his movies have been mediocre, at best.

Joe Jarosz is a Midwest boy living in California. As much as he likes to think he has an edge, he’s quick to cry at the latest animated movie he takes his kid to see.


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