Delivery Man (2013) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Delivery Man feels like a warmed over Vince Vaughn vehicle. It features the Vaughn character archetype; a sweet-natured near-do-well, with a supportive family and disgruntled girlfriend. The catch this go around is that he’s sired 533 people after making a record donation at a sperm clinic years prior. Delivery Man has been semi-successfully adapted from the Canadian film Starbuck by that film’s original director Ken Scott. A still pudgy, pre-Guardians, Chris Pratt steals the movie with his deadpan line delivery.

David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is an aimless deliveryman for his family’s butcher shop, who is indebted to a local goon for $80,000. His ex-girlfriend Emma, an NYPD officer (Cobie Smulders) has recently found out she’s pregnant with his child. One day, David returns home to find a lawyer representing a sperm bank who informs him that he has fathered 533 children. Of those, 142 have rallied behind a class action lawsuit to force the fertility clinic to reveal the identity of “Starbuck”, the alias David used all those years ago.

David’s best friend and legal counsel Brett (Chris Pratt) represents him as he tries to keep his identity a secret.This doesn’t stop the curious David from seeking out his off-spring and helping them through various obstacles. It all comes to a head when he finds himself present at a support group for the “Children of Starbuck”. Meanwhile, Emma doesn’t know the truth and David’s family is being shaken down for the money owed to the thugs.

The script by Ken Scott takes a number of off-beat turns that give the film a heavier vibe than I was expecting based on the light-hearted trailers and the film’s prime Holiday release date. Delivery Man is similar in tone to James L. Brooks’ pictures, mixing physical comedy, verbal puns, arrogant characters, and high-drama. It doesn’t fully work here, because the ambitions of the story are greater than the simple premise will allow.

Director: Ken Scott
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders

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