Vince Vaughn returns to the big screen in all his 6’5″ glory, but this time it’s different.
The fast-talking actor stars in Ken Scott’s “Delivery Man,” a remake of the filmmaker’s 2011 French-Canadian comedy, swapping Quebec for New York City but keeping the premise the same. As David Wozniak, Vaughn plays a 42-year-old schlub with little ambition in life, working as a delivery truck driver for his family’s deli meat company. Wozniak’s world turns upside-down when he learns that his sperm bank donations years ago resulted in 533 children.
Critics aren’t crazy about the heartfelt comedy, but some had words of praise for Vaughn and Chris Pratt.
Read on for a sampling of “Delivery Man” reviews. The film opens nationwide on November 22.
The Film Has Laughs, But Not Much Substance
The film isn’t terrible; Vaughn, Pratt and, as David’s frustrated girlfriend, Cobie Smulders know what they’re doing in terms of finessing the material for laughs as well as the h-word. But it’s all sort of unseemly. Vaughn’s character has no defining traits other than a mysterious, heal-all lovability (plus heart). You never hear anything about the mothers who gave birth to these hundreds of kids; it’s all about David. The rhythm of the picture feels predetermined by the original, and you can tell, even if you haven’t seen ’Starbuck.’ ” — Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
But The Jokes Might Get Old:
“Vince Vaughn deserves better than this Hollywood version of the French-Canadian film Starbuck, a fact-based story about a meat-truck driver who fathered 533 children through long-ago sperm donations. Now 142 of his kids want to sue. Ken Scott, director of both films, tries futilely for laughs and tears. Delivery Man is one joke stretched to the breaking point. Mine was reached.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Chris Pratt Is a Scene-Stealer
“Honestly, the setup sounds more promising than the hash that Vaughn and writer-director Ken Scott make of it. The lazy script jerks back and forth between masturbation-joke slapstick and gloppy sentimentality as David seeks out his offspring and tries to help them like a creepy guardian angel. The only saving grace is Chris Pratt as Vaughn’s deadpan best friend. Otherwise, Delivery Man is a limp-noodle story about an unlikable guy who manages to grow up and become a marginally less unlikable guy. ” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
It’s Very Faithful To The Original
“An extremely faithful re-telling of ’Starbuck,’ a popular 2011 French-Canadian comedy directed and co-written by Ken Scott (who duplicates his services here), the fictional film politely abstains from tapping the storyline’s ripe, satirical potential in favor of a softer-around-the-edges approach. Thanks to some potent performances, led by Vince Vaughn in a decidedly change-of-pace, reflective turn, this Disney release proves lightly entertaining in spite of its more heartfelt tendencies.” — Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
It Strives To Deliver A Positive Message
“Scott’s warm-hearted humanism extends further than family, as if to remind that we are all brothers and sisters, with more in common than could possibly separate us. Even if your soul can’t stand the thought of Vince Vaughn at the center of a 143-person group hug, there’s no denying this marks a turning point for the star. With Scott’s help, he has delivered a rare and special package indeed.” — Peter Debruge, Variety
But It’s Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea
“Hollywood hails men like David Wozniak as wastrel kings. Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Vaughn descend from an ignoble line that traces back to The Dude and Jeff Spicoli. But ’Delivery Man’ hails from Quebec, where writer-director Ken Scott originally shot it with French-speaking comedian Patrick Huard, which means America has successfully exported the slacker and now is getting him bounced back to us like crabs. Scott has even dumbed it down a notch. Merde. I’m being a little cruel to poor, dumb Delivery Man. It’s no better or worse than the rest of its kin — unless you’re a woman who believes in the existence of moms. But I’m also not sure why ’Delivery Man’ exists, except to appeal to a narrow Venn diagram of dude-bros who also change diapers.” — Amy Nicholson, LA Weekly