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Unfinished Business


Stars: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Nick Frost, June Diane Raphael, Britton Sear

Director: Ken Scott

The title is spot on since if this drivel was intended to be a watchable movie, the makers appear to have gone ahead and filmed it using a screenplay (by executive producer Steve Conrad that surely must have also been unfinished. Otherwise, what possible excuse could there be for this sad waste of film stock parading as a comedy?

To give Conrad his due (and he’s welcome to it), there’s a plot of sorts – Vince Vaughn quits his sales job after clashing with unpleasant boss Sienna Miller and, totally without credibility, starts up his own company with Tom Wilkinson who is nearing retirement (and should perhaps consider retiring from playing American roles like this one until he learns to master a convincing American accent?) and thick teenager Dave Franco, whose lack of height is made fun of and who, sadly, fails to rise to the witless demands made on him by Conrad and director Ken Scott.

The storyline (but little to laugh at) kicks in when Vaughn, Wilkinson and Franco head for Germany to try and win a lucrative contract against opposition by James Marsden and his company.

If the creative intention was to generate humour in the much beloved Americans-abroad-are-idiots comedy genre, then everyone involved deserves the Oscar for Least Achievement. Germany comes across like some lurid theme park (location shooting doesn’t make it all any less unbelievable) while the protagonists – and audience - suffer everything from the Oktoberfest, a gay festival, a car crash with a deer, an interview with a naked woman in a sauna and Wilkinson’s seat-squirmingly embarrassing attempts to talk dirty without raising more than the occasional snigger of admiration for the sheer bravery of everyone concerned in allowing the film to be (I assume) passed as worthy of payment to see it.

The film gets the performances it deserves. Anyone foolish enough to see the film will get performances they really don’t deserve.

Its one feasible merit is as a possible Channel 4 television choice since it is riddled with four-letter words, simulated sex, innuendo ad lib, gratuitous nudity and all the good taste of a four-week old stew left out in the sun.

I reckon its best hope of (undeservedly) making its money back would be to allow moviegoers to get into the cinema free and then make them pay heavily to be allowed to leave before the end).

(German's Studio Babelsberg are credited as co-producers. Staying with the crass spirit if the enterprise it regrettably (and I apologise) occurs to me that had Germany had a bomb with the potential of this film, WW2 might have lasted longer).

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 06 Mar 2015