Unfinished Business (3 stars)

Unfinished Business

Mixed bag comedy from Ken Scott starring Vince Vaughn and Sienna Miller

What happens to those who don’t fit corporate America? They become small business owners like Daniel Trunkman (Vince Vaughn), a doting father and husband, and the sensitive, indefatigable boss to two loyal employees: Tim (Tom Wilkinson) – fired from his previous workplace because he was too old; and Mike (Dave Franco), who's too young and dumb to have a job. The business? Metal shavings. The competition? Black-hearted, slick-talking boss lady Chuck (Sienna Miller).

Canadian helmer Ken Scott worked fairly effectively with Vaughn on minor hit Delivery Man and his direction here is light and colourful but, meshed with Steve Conrad’s patchy script, Unfinished Business becomes a chaotic, meandering trip to frequent comedic discomfort. Both the dialogue and editing feel rushed and even tampered with, as if there is a good film in there still struggling to get out. What emerges is a messy, unbelievable slice of Americana, where the fruits of hard work, loyalty and luck are just over the horizon.

The casting however is faultless, with Vaughn gaining stature as his character comes to appreciate the value of being a leader to those who need leadership the most. His transformation from worker bee to visionary boss as his company struggles is fantastical yet effective and moving. But scenes with his pampered children and put-upon wife quickly grate. Barely getting any screen-time, Wilkinson is a victim of the film’s own ageism, leaving Franco to steal the show as the compellingly naive Mike Pancake ('It’s Greek,' he explains). And keep an eye out for James Marsden, and for Nick Frost who appears as an executive assistant with a large penis (don’t worry, it’s all part of the plot).

Packed with montages and non-sequiturs, this is a weird-ass business comedy that still manages to pack a tiny emotional sucker punch in the end. It's often pretty brainless but shows evidence of a heart, at least.

General release from Fri 6 Mar.

Unfinished Business | Official Trailer

Unfinished Business

  • 3 stars
  • 2015
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ken Scott
  • Written by: Steve Conrad
  • Cast: Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, Tom Wilkinson
  • UK release: 6 March 2015

Daniel (Vaughn) is a doting father and husband and the sensitive, indefatigable boss of Tim (Wilkinson) and Mike (Franco), who he takes on a business trip to Europe. Chaotic, meandering and unbelievable business comedy with admittedly great casting, even if Wilkinson gets too little screen time. Brainless, but heartfelt.