by Adam Riske
Early into Unfinished Business, I sent Patrick a text message. It read “I’m 15 minutes into Unfinished Business...I want to jump off a mountain.” At times this movie is so bad it’s almost like a personal affront by the filmmakers on the audience. It’s a terrible movie – boring and without a single laugh. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a theater watching a comedy where every joke dies on screen. It’s a depressing experience. I watched this movie feeling bad for everyone involved. I wish I could have walked out of Unfinished Business.
A small-business owner (Vince Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco) travel to Germany to close a crucial deal for their fledgling company. Mayhem ensues.
What the hell happened to Vince Vaughn? Just a couple of days ago, I re-watched Swingers and he seems like a completely different actor in the nearly 20 years that have elapsed. Vaughn was once peppy, funny and charming; now he just comes across as bored and almost unwilling to be funny. He seems more concerned with hitting character and story beats as opposed to landing jokes. I think he might have taken critics (of his rapid-fire dialogue shtick) too much to heart in the past few movies because now he wants to be this sensitive, softy man and it’s a bad look for him. It feels disingenuous. Well, at least he landed True Detective. Maybe a dramatic role will shake him out of the doldrums for a while. His co-stars, Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco, don’t come off much better. Wilkinson seems embarrassed to be in the movie and does the bare minimum. Franco is playing a really odd (possibly mentally challenged) character that grows tiresome very quickly. Franco’s character’s name is Mike Pancake. This is an example of Unfinished Business’ humor. It’s as lame as the mustache jokes in Mortdecai (a movie I did walk out of).
There’s no sense in belaboring this review any further. Nothing works in Unfinished Business. It’s lazy and stupid with low energy and no style. The movie is so bad that it’s not even a comedy (like Tower Heist, for example) where it’s at least a passable diversion despite not having any laughs. This thing isn’t even watchable. It’s a sad waste of time where I sat dumbfounded that the talent involved was incapable of making something better than what was put up on screen. Humor is subjective, but I can honestly say that I can’t imagine anyone who would enjoy Unfinished Business.