It’s bad when a title can sum up a film, at least when the film’s not good. And Unfinished Business is not good. In spite of a talented supporting cast, Unfinished Business is the latest in Vince Vaughn’s seemingly never-ending downward spiral in film roles. Less a wild-and-crazy comedy and more an unwieldy amalgamation of different types of comedy with some schmaltz thrown in, Unfinished Business often comes across as one or two edits shy of a script that could actually work.
The film opens with Dan (Vaughn) quitting his job, rather than take a pay decrease in spite of increasing his success at work. As he leaves, he tells his coworkers that he’s starting a company, and they’re welcome to join. He ends up getting Tim (Tom Wilkerson), who was just let go due to his age, and Mike (Dave Franco), who was at the office for an interview. Cut to a year later, and their potential success hinges on one deal that, of course, won’t go nearly as smoothly as they plan.
I don’t expect much from Vaughn these days, and his character here is in keeping with other recent roles: he’s a guy who spouts a ton of one-liners that do nothing but pad out the running time. What had me interested were his two main costars. Tom Wilkinson is one of those actors who can normally elevate anything he’s in, while Dave Franco has established himself as a funnier version of older brother James. Wilkinson, though, seems to actually be going through the motions here. He seems uncomfortable committing to the broader strokes this film tries to create for him, and it doesn’t help that the broad strokes are also relatively tame. Franco at least commits to his character, but in spite of him providing the bulk of the laughs the film manages to offer, the character himself borders on offensive.
The film also tries to shoehorn in a subplot about Dan’s children, and the abuse his son is enduring at school. It’s like the filmmakers wanted to add some heart to the story, and the end result is obviously forced into the rest of the film. It drags, which is actually par for the course in Unfinished Business. A handful of scenes aside, including one with Nick Frost as a gay bear who’s into leather at a fetish party, the film feels like a drag. A cumbersome drag.