Review: “Unfinished Business” Should Have Never Started
Title: Unfinished Business
Director: Ken Scott
Screenwriter: Steve Conrad
Principal Cast: Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson, Sienna Miller, Nick Frost, and James Marsden
Summary: A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to lose the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable — and unimaginable — way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit. — via IMDB
Does anyone remember a few years ago when Vince Vaughn was going to be the next “big thing” in comedy? When we were all waiting for the next guy to appeal to the “drunk dude bro” demographic? Several bombs later and now Vaughn is nearly a joke. That’s one of the main reason why I had a feeling that Unfinished Business wasn’t going to be very good. I didn’t have a lot of faith in Vaughn picking out a good role that would bring him back into the spotlight. I do like Dave Franco, though, so I tried to keep an open mind.
Unfinished Business is kneecapped by an unfunny script and a lack of any real point as it’s ninety minute run time seems to run for forever.
I’m pretty sure this movie is supposed to be a comedy but there were hardly any jokes at all. The longest running joke is on Franco’s character, and about halfway through the movie I thought he was just supposed to be the stupid one. It turns out that Unfinished Business decided to take a character with a mental disability and make it one of the ongoing jokes. The fact that they rely heavily on that joke, and Tom Wilkinson’s desire to get a divorce so he can get laid, should say how much class this movie has. They didn’t fall into full blown scaddilatical humor, but it was close.
Instead of poop jokes Unfinished Business seemed much more preoccupied with getting supporting members of the cast naked for seemingly no reason. There was a lot of nudity in this movie, and none of it existed for any reason other than some people find nudity embarrassing? The kind of people who find nudity hilarious aren’t old enough to get into an R rated movie. The movie only seems to exist for the cast and crew to get a paid trip to Europe. They do a few language gags, but the movie could have taken place anywhere in the world and it would have been the same movie.
The shame is that director Ken Scott and writer Steve Conrad waste a very solid cast. It takes a lot to make the great Nick Frost unfunny, but here he comes across as yet another stereotype that is borderline offensive. James Marsden and Sienna Miller are supposed to be our villains (I think, anyway) but between the two of them they have almost no screentime. They don’t get any jokes and the movie doesn’t have any moment for them to go over the top. Vince Vaughn is playing the same character that he always seems to play. It’s really sad how much we misjudged Vaughn’s range. Tom Wilkinson mostly looks like he’s embarrassed to be there and, as I said, Dave Franco is saddled with a tasteless joke for a character. I went through Steve Conrad’s filmography to see what else he’s written, and there aren’t any funny movies listed. I can say with confidence that Conrad still hasn’t written a comedy since Unfinished Business is not a comedy.
Unfinished Business doesn’t have a single laugh in it’s ninety one minute running time. It squanders what could have been a great cast for unnecessary nudity, and a story that just has our protagonists running around Germany. I was tired when I went into this film and I left wanting to take a nap from sheer boredom. The only thing Unfinished Business has going for it is that no one is going to remember it in a week. In fact, I’ve only just seen it, and I’ve already forgotten it.