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Delivery Man (Vince Vaughn) - Review

Delivery Man

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

VINCE Vaughn comedies have tended to be poorly conceived and more miss than hit in recent times. But Delivery Man, while laboured in places, is his most amiable offering for a while.

A remake of little seen Canadian dramedy Starbuck, and based on a true story, this finds Vaughn reining in his more usual motor-mouthed tendencies and endearing himself as a result.

David (Vaughn) works at his father’s business, has mountains of debt and refuses to commit to his girlfriend, Emma (Coby Smulders), who is newly pregnant with his child. But life gets a lot more complicated when the former sperm donor is told that he is the father of no less than 500 children, 142 of whom want to meet him.

Panicked, David employs his best friend and lawyer Brett (Chris Pratt) to take the matter to court to protect his anonymity. But also curious, he begins tracking his kids down and secretly helping them out where possible, thereby prompting him to finally take some responsibility.

Directed by Ken Scott, Delivery Man is predictably sentimental and obvious in a lot of places. But it gets by on charm alone. Vaughn is better and more relatable here than he has been for some time, while Pratt (of TV’s Parks & Recreation fame) is on scene-stealing form as his hapless lawyer.

There are some nice supporting roles from some of the kids, too, with rising Irish star Jack Reynor particularly standing out from a mostly amiable crowd, while a sub-plot involving a disabled son is also touching.

Admittedly, some of the comedy feels forced and wayward, while Smulders is criminally under-used and way too understanding when she does appear. And there are definitely times when the film becomes unnecessarily manipulative emotionally.

But it’s heart is in the right place and Scott – who also co-wrote and directed the original – does a decent job of mixing the comedy and drama so that viewers remain consistently engaged and entertained.

Delivery Man is therefore a surprisingly likeable remake that wins you over in spite of its obvious faults.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 106mins
UK Release Date: January 10, 2014