News Column

Lazy blockbuster comedy that's lacking in humour

November 30, 2013

YellowBrix

Nov. 30--It's not often you enter a Hollywood film nowadays with a truly intriguing premise, but Delivery Man has one.

David Wozniak (played by Vince Vaughn) is a middle-aged meat delivery man with a penchant for making mistakes.

Almost two decades previously, he was a regular sperm donor in order to make money.

In the present day, a lawyer representing the sperm bank informs him that he is the father of 533 children.

A large group of these have now banded together in order to petition him to reveal his identity.

The film is a remake of writer-director Ken Scott's 2011 film Starbuck.

It's puzzling to think, then, why the faults and cracks in the script and execution haven't been smoothed over.

David's struggles with loan sharks add no drama, darkness or urgency to the script; neither does his family dynamics with his father and brothers, which are only on display for one or two scenes.

Considering they are never utilised, their presence in the film is superfluous and confuses the plot.

Once he's told about his children and given a folder of their profiles, David decides to go on a somewhat manic spree to meet his various offspring without identifying himself.

He decides to act a 'guardian angel' in order to help them in small ways in their lives.

The different characters of his numerous children are interesting -- among them are professional basketball player, a physically disabled man and a young drug addict -- but the film doesn't pause long enough for it to be truly satisfying or thoughtful.

There are moments of comic gold that could have been infused into the movie, but it's lost by Scott's wavering attempt to toe the line between funny and poignant.

It's not to say that there aren't one or two touching moments throughout the movie, but they feel contrived and the general tone of the movie doesn't invite the audience to sympathise much with David.

The film also features supporting roles by Cobie Smulders as his girlfriend, Chris Pratt as his best friend and lawyer, and Andrzej Blumenfeld as his father.

In the end, it feels like a lazy, standard blockbuster comedy -- lacking in laughs and heart.

Delivery Man is showing at Bahrain City Centre, Seef and Saar cinemas and has a running time of 104 minutes.

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(c)2013 the Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)

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