Unfinished Business Review

The Plot

After being fired from his job Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) teams up with two businessmen, one recently retired (Tom Wilkinson) the other, a young inexperienced man in every sense of the word (Dave Franco). But the trio’s first big deal is put in jeopardy when Dan’s old boss (Sienna Miller) turns up to steal his wealthy client.

The Good

Vince Vaughn still has at least some appeal for fans who prefer their comedy tall and nervously sarcastic. Likewise Dave Franco’s cult following & viral video fans will  perhaps be more inclined to enjoy watching him fully indulge his inner moron. The film might also help those looking to entirely disengage their brain for 90 minutes as it never demands any thought from audiences either.

Sadly there’s not much to save Unfinished Business from the mess it ends up being, but the faint glimmers of silver lining behind the thunderous clouds come mainly thanks to Tom Wilkinson.He doesn’t come close to rescuing the film, but he’s more successful at amusing audiences than his overly eager co-stars. Wilkinson’s character at least has the most potential, playing a businessman fighting against reluctant retirement while suffering the woes of a loveless marriage. The mere presence of an actor of his caliber elevates proceedings, even if you suspect he’s only on board to add to his actual retirement fund in lieu of a second visit to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

The Bad

Unfortunately for Wilkinson, his character and subsequent storyline is largely pushed aside to make way for the headline act of the consistently disappointing Vince Vaughn. We can only hope Unfinished Business proves to be the last time Vaughn tries to squeeze laughs out of characters failing at their jobs. Vaughn’s affable blend of borderline obnoxious charms and underachievement may have worked in hits like Swingers or Dodgeball, but it’s also seen him relegated to a series of unimpressive comedy flops. Sadly this time cinemas are likely to yet again echo with deafening silences as the majority of the jokes fall flat.

Finishing off this terrible trio is Dave Franco, an actor who, like Vaughn, has indeed got good comedies in his back catalogue and knows how to make us laugh (21 Jump Street comes instantly to mind). Unfortunately Franco is brought down by a character so inherently dumb that he comes extremely close to doing precisely what Robert Downey Jr warns against in Tropic Thunder. When a comedy character’s biggest and arguably only comedic moment is the fact that his surname resembles that of a breakfast meal, you know you’ve got problems!

Even the attempt at giving the film a heart and soul with the inclusion of Vaughn’s children who are both dealing with bullying at school, albeit in completely opposite ways, does more harm than good. It simply gives us more reason to hate Vaughn’s character as he constantly feigns a frozen connection on his iPhone. Add shameless product placement to the growing list of  movie sins.

We haven’t even mentioned the actresses in the film, but there is a very simple explanation for this. They are another thing recklessly discarded in favour of more underwhelming screen time for the film’s misfiring leads.

The Ugly Truth

Unfinished Business is a messy disappointment which sacrifices far too much real potential to make way for Vince Vaughan and Dave Franco in showboating performances that miss the mark badly. So badly in fact that it’s actually a relief when the business is finally finished. We can only hope Vince Vaughn manages to dramaticaly redeem himself in the second series of the superb True Detective.

Leave A Comment