VINCE VAUGHN CHRIS PRATT
Last year when I gave the French film Starbuck a “B-“ and said a few minor changes would have made the story by Ken Scott all the more effective, turning it into an American buddy comedy was not what I had in mind. Remade (not surprisingly) for American audiences, Starbuck, now called Delivery Man, has comedian Vince Vaughn sitting in the driver’s seat unable to connect emotionally with a story that requires heart and an acting ability he doesn’t possess. While the story will be something new for US audiences, I highly recommend seeing Starbuck first; only minor changes occur since Scott is also the director of the American version.
David Wozniak (Vaughn) has money problems, communication issues and, as a truck driver for his family's meat business, can never make the deliveries on time. David’s past financial problems have caught up with him; in his early twenties he donated sperm quite often and was paid handsomely for it. Now the clinic has revealed that he is the father of over 600 children who want to know his identity. If that weren’t enough on his plate, David also learns that his girlfriend (Cobbie Smulders) is pregnant. David relies on his best friend Brett (Pratt) to represent him in court and protect his anonymity from the children.
Besides the multiple and very noticeable continuity errors, the most out of place element of the film is the casting of Vaughn, who is 6’5’’, with actors playing his brothers and father that only come up to his chest. It looks out of place when he stands next to his family, disregarding the fact that they look nothing alike. Patrick Huard (the original Starbuck actor) by no means gave a brilliant performance, but he blended into the setting and never became a distraction.
Vaughn, like many comedians who have found box office success, know only one note as an actor. Whether you're watching him in the flop The Internship, The Dilemma or any number of his comedies, you will see exactly the same Vaughn, and Scott’s script deserves better than the reduction in quality it receives here. One consistency Scott maintained was the use of actor Sebastien Rene, who played Raphael in Starbuck and the same character, but named Ryan, in Delivery Man. Rene’s inclusion into both films are the singular most moving moments, but again it is underwhelmed here due to Vaughn’s persona and lack of performance.
Final Thought – Do yourself a favor and see Starbuck before watching Delivery Man, if ever.
By: Dustin Chase