Friday, 10 January 2014

Delivery Man - Movie Review



Who's in it? 

 & 

What's it About? 

Vince Vaughan plays a forty-something slacker dodging a debt to the mob and pretty much all responsibility for everything else in his life. Ditched by his newly pregnant girlfriend he comes home to the news that a mix up at the sperm bank twenty years prior has resulted in his copious 'donations' being used for hundreds of women and resulting in 533 children - 142 of whom are now suing to reveal his identity. 

Ooh look the original movie Starbuck is on Netflix for free!

Any Good? 

I'm always a little dubious about Hollywood remakes, French thriller Anything for Her was annihilated in Three Days Later and 2010's Let Me In was never going to reach the coat tails of Swedish original Let the Right One In but when the same writer and director of a movie (Ken Scott) personally remakes his own film Starbuck just two years later then it's side-eyes all 'round. 

For my part though, I like Vince Vaughan (Wozniak) and that's pretty much a prerequisite going into Delivery Man as there are very few scenes in which his broad shoulders don't take centre stage. Fans of his quick talking, irreverent style of wit might be a little disappointed that there is only brief glances at real humour here, though laugh out loud when they appear. 

I call it casual/casual - ALL the best disbarred lawyers are wearing it

To its credit though as a competent dramedy with humour, heart and only brief glimpses of schmaltz, Delivery Man holds its own. Some relationships could have benefited greatly from a little more fleshing out and Cobie Smulders is woejussly underused but her character serves to show the more responsible side to Wozniak's underachieving attitude. 

Wozniak's mission to become a guardian angel of sorts to one child at a time though is where the movies real (if slightly far fetched) strength lies. Chances are a drug addiction won't be suddenly cured by getting a job in retail in one such instance but we're talking about a movie about a man with 533 children here - it was never meant to be believable. 

There's one behind us right now, isn't there?
For those not familiar with the original movie, this will be a treat. Touching on identity issues, drug abuse, disability, acceptance, feelings of involuntary fatherly love and a sudden sense of protectiveness, this flick does so with heart, peppered with dry wit and humour so that it never weighs itself down. 

For all his faults Wozniak is a likeable oaf, with the majority of his offspring seeming to have inherited that trait. I can't help but feel that Ken Scott missed a trick in not turning Starbuck into a TV series instead, with Wozniak helping one child per episode - I would've watched that but we got this instead. While it won't win any awards or even be that memorable in six months time, if you're looking for a pleasant 100 mins of feel good film reel this flick delivers. 

Watch out for Irish lads
Simon Delaney & Jack Raynor
both holding their own here. 


Rating:
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