“Unfinished Business” Is No Fun

Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco in "Unfinished Business."

HOLLYWOOD—When it comes to raunchy, comedies nowadays are pushing the envelope in a way that would have never been seen 15 years ago.  But just because the envelope has been pushed does not necessarily mean it’s a cup of tea for all audiences. Vince Vaughn’s latest entry “Unfinished Business” falls flat on so many fronts its not even funny.

Vaughn stars as Daniel Trunkman, as a small business owner who is looking for that next big deal to take his company to the next level. Along the way are his two associates, Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson) and Mike Pancake (Dave Franco). Yes, to say that these three are polar opposites would be a complete understatement, not to mention the names that our characters have. A bit of a stretch I’d say.

This is where the laughs deliver somewhat. Wilkson’s take on an older coop who ventures into a territory unexpected is an eye-opener. The same sentiment can be echoed for Franco’s portrayal of Mike who is quite inept and inexperienced in the social arena to say the least. When the gang travels to Europe they soon discover their competition Chuck portrayed by Sienna Miler vying to seal the same deal.

One of the issues with “Unfinished Business” is it’s a movie that the audience could compare to the latest comedy romp “Neighbors” or “The Hangover.” Take a bunch of characters and place them in outrageous situations and let’s just see how crazy and over-the-top we can take the gags and laughs to get the audience to join in on the ‘laughter.’

Note: I use that work loosely. If you’re going to utilize sex jokes and sexual objects as a way of getting laughs, it might be wise to do something that the audience hasn’t seen before. Another approach is to consider not pushing the envelope too far to where the audience cringes in the theater, which seems to be a trend with most comedies. The goal is not to necessarily deliver laughs to the audience; it’s to see if they can outdo previous comedies on the too far scale.

One of the problems with “Unfinished Business” is that its narrative lacks structure, not to mention we have characters the audience doesn’t fully connect with. While Vaughn is the star, it’s his co-stars Wilkinson and Franco who emit some laughs from viewers when the jokes aren’t completely killed. If you’re looking for laughs one will be better suited turning their attention to a flick that has a bit more originality.