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Vince Vaughn Pleasantly Surprises In 'Delivery Man'

Michael Huard |
November 19, 2013 | 11:09 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Vince Vaughn is the main character in "Delivery Man" (Walt Disney Studios).
Vince Vaughn is the main character in "Delivery Man" (Walt Disney Studios).
Vince Vaughn certainly has his comedic style. From “Wedding Crashers” to “Dodgeball” and “Old School,” he has delighted with jokes fired in rapid succession supplemented by endless shoulder shrugs and “Who me?” looks.

Often these bursts of emotion culminate in a shouting match of lovable conceit. In a career spanning almost two and a half decades, these moments stand out among the rest, but in “Delivery Man,” the remake of a Canadian comedy titled “Starbuck,” Vaughn takes a step back and allows his cast mates to shine.

David Wozniak (Vaughn) is a little flakey and unreliable, but deep down he is a good man that most everyone likes. In an effort to make a quick buck, he donated sperm in his early twenties…a lot. Due to a system snafu, the bank provided his samples to all of its clients, thus making Wozniak—who donated under the name Starbuck—the father of over 500 children. 

Typically, this would result in classic Vaughn-style denials. Instead, we are shown an exasperated Vince Vaughn. He looks tired for much of the opening sequences, as if life has grown a little too heavy for him to bear. The sunken eyes and drooping shoulders come across as disinterest in the film. However, as the film progresses and Wozniak’s true character arises, Vaughn revitalizes the performance with a touch of class and genuine emotion. 

READ MORE: Film Review: 'Delivery Man'

For much of “Delivery Man” Vince Vaughn is not the primary source of humor. Costar Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation”) actually takes that slot with gusto, occupying the role of disgraced lawyer with far too many children. In a twist on expected career choices, Pratt dominates the cynicism of “Delivery Man” while Vaughn adapts an optimistic tone. Sure, each actor inserts some of their trademark moments, but the film’s pure emotions are not sacrificed. 

As Wozniak struggles with his new responsibilities, Vaughn seamlessly slips into what looks like the next stage of his career. He is still a leading man and boasts the ability to hold a film together, but there is less blatant effort to be funny; it comes naturally. Vaughn in “Delivery Man” does not provide any “Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!” style lines, but that is not required here for the film to succeed. 

The main poster for “Delivery Man” shows Vaughn mid-shrug. In the past, that would indicate his reluctance to confess he has not changed his style. After viewing the film, however, that look actually indicates his modest admission that he can provide depth to a comedy without exaggerated theatrics. Who knew?

Watch the movie trailer below.

Read more by Michael at MHMovieReviews.com.

Contact Staff Reporter Michael Huard here.



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