‘Delivery Man’ too little, too late

‘Delivery Man’ too little, too late

By Karsten Burgstahler


We have reached a point where no one cares about the name of Vince Vaughn’s character in a movie. It does not matter who he is cast as, he plays Vince Vaughn.

So in “Delivery Man” (Rated PG-13, 103 Min.), Vaughn plays Vince Vaughn, this time, according to the Internet Movie Database plot description, an “affable underachiever.” So, in essence, every other character Vaughn has played. Only this time the underachiever has to grow up because of a different set of circumstances: he fathered more than 500 kids.


You read that right. Because of a mix up at a fertility clinic, Vaughn, under the guise “Starbuck” (the movie is a remake of a Canadian film called “Starbuck”), had his sperm given out to hundreds of parents resulting in hundreds of pregnancies. Now, more than 100 of the kids are suing to learn his identity, because someone thought that lawsuit sounded remotely legitimate. The film never provides the loophole that may force Vaughn to reveal himself: it is simply described as a loophole. That is just lazy writing.

To Vaughn’s credit, he aims to inject a bit more emotion here. “Delivery Man” wants to have a more resonate emotional core than his other films, an admirable goal. But director Ken Scott goes about combining the comedy and drama poorly. Vaughn chooses to check into the identities of some of the kids and tries to help them out as a sort of guardian angel. In one scene, he tries to get one of his kids to agree to rehab after she nearly commits suicide. During this scene, Vaughn makes funny faces and the musical score is comical, leaving awkward what should have been a heavier scene.

In the film’s second half, Scott finds his balance and manages to create a few interesting relationships for Vaughn, one in particular involving a disabled child Vaughn fathered. Vaughn spends time just pushing him around in his wheelchair and clearly cares for the kid, and their scenes together absolutely work. But some of the other kids are just too one-dimensional. The film simply takes too long to find its footing.

Another consistent bright spot, at least when he is given screen time, is Chris Pratt as Vaughn’s lawyer. He gets all the funny lines and has good chemistry with Vaughn, but his scenes limit him to being occasional comic relief rather than a developed supporting character. That is a shame, because Pratt could have contributed a lot more.

It is good to see Vaughn has the ambition to try a more dramatic role on for size, especially since it has been years since he played the villain in “Psycho” and “Domestic Disturbance,” neither of which stuck well. But they exist as proof that somewhere out there is a Vaughn not content to play the poor schlub. There are a few indications of a different Vaughn here, but not enough to make “Delivery Man” significant.

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 261.