There have been some blockbuster and potential award winning films that have come out of Hollywood this year. Delivery Man is not one of them. It was a hopeful attempt by director Ken Scott, who directed and penned the indie hit film Starbuck, of which this outing is based on. This time Scott allowed the “glamour” of Hollywood to seep in and poison what could have been a moderate critical success. There was just too much wrong with this film for any amount of right to save it.
Many men are challenged raising just one child. In David Wozniak’s (Vince Vaughn) case, he just became the world’s most challenged father upon the discovery of fathering 533 children. The unfortunate victim of persistent sperm donating in the nineties, affable David is faced with quite a dilemma as 142 of them have jointly filed a lawsuit against the fertility clinic to reveal his identity. This begins the flat storytelling that is Delivery Man.
The story, for one, is about as stale as stories go. With an interesting concept aided by star power, Delivery Man could have caught a decent following. The script was practically adapted word for word from the original, and couldn’t have been more forced. The plot point regarding the court case was hardly touched on except for brief moments which only informed the audience that it would eventually occur. This scenario was just one of countless plot holes that persisted throughout the film that left the audience wondering what was so special about this man that people loved so much. Thus, resulting in a lack of emotional attachment to the case against David Wozniak.
The lackluster dialogue halted any chance of conviction regarding David’s personal journey throughout the film. Any type of interaction that occurred between him and his family or girlfriend Emma (Colbie Smulders) resulted in a prematurely acted scene. Not to belittle Vaughn’s acting chops in the least way. He’s a class act when cast in the appropriate setting. This role would have been performed exceptionally well if the audience witnessed a more Swingers-style Vince Vaughn character. It would have been money. It appeared as if he was limited in his style for a more general audience viewership. Towards the end of the film when Wozniak was at the climax of his personal journey, he fell short in any form of convincing the audience to sympathize with him.
As much as I have critiqued this film for failing to provide any depth in story or character development, there was some fun to be had here. The scenes between David and his best friend/lawyer/single father of four, Brett (Chris Pratt) were some of the funniest of the whole film. These two definitely appear to have a fluid and fun relationship off-set. Also, the concept itself is interesting enough to entice any one to give it a look-see. However, they should know that they will leave the theater feeling unsatisfied.
Delivery Man opens in Philly theaters today.