Not all movies can be great– I get that. And as a critic it’s sometimes even a little fun to completely tear apart a bad movie. But there are also movies that are so terribly misguided, lazy, and ridiculously bad that you don’t even want to put in the time and effort required to tell people how terribly misguided, lazy, and ridiculously bad it is.
And that’s just what we have with Unfinished Business.
My god, it’s awful.
A bizarre and utterly unfunny mash-up of A) a family values movie and B) something Adam Sandler would even deem too moronic, it’s bad from the get-go, and it only gets worse the longer it goes. I never thought 90 minutes could last so long.
Vince Vaughan, who seriously needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror (alongside Johnny Depp) is Dan Trunkman, a swarf salesman. (Swarf, if you care, is scrap metal shavings– maybe that’s supposed to be inherently funny?) His business is perilously close to going under, so he has to fly to Berlin to seal a deal, along with his co-workers: a frisky old man (Tom Wilkinson) and a fresh-faced numbskull (Dave Franco). Individually, the three are among the most unlikable characters ever to hit a movie screen. Together, they’re reason enough to actually root for the “bad guys”– Dan’s competition.
I’m not sure what screenwriter Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) was thinking, and after twenty minutes of Unfinished Business, frankly, I didn’t care. What starts out as a failed attempt at a raunchy (and often downright foul– not to mention obscene, misogynistic, and homophobic) workplace comedy quickly morphs into some kind of pseudo-serious family drama about Dan’s bullied son and his daughter who feels neglected by her absentee dad. If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn I’d been dropped into a third-rate Afterschool Special by way of The Hangover.
There’s not a single moment in Unfinished Business that will make you crack a smile, much less laugh. In fact, I defy anyone to make it through the entire film without getting up and walking out. And don’t worry about missing the ending– if you can’t figure it out where this train wreck is headed after the first two minutes, you’ll make Franco’s criminally-idiotic dolt look like the Einstein.