‘Delivery Man’: handle with care

Photo courtesy of Ben Kendrick of Screencredit.com

Photo courtesy of Ben Kendrick of Screencredit.com

By Christopher Null, Editor


Bill Cosby once said parents with only one child are not to be considered as true parents. For David Wozniak, a middle-aged meat truck driver, parenting 533 kids brings parenting to a whole new level. Twenty years ago, David anonymously made a large donation to a sperm bank where an incident arose leading him to father 533 children, 142 of which are suing him to reveal his true identity. David, feeling unaccomplished with his life, decides to secretly visit each of the children suing him to give them the compassion and support he missed out on all those years.

Now, this heartfelt drama lead by a few of comedic actors is sure to reel in moviegoers with a soft spot for this kind of film, as it was planned. What most audience members probably don’t know is that this film is a faithful adaptation of a French-Canadian film titled “Starbuck” (2011). Written and directed by the same person, both films fall on top of each other almost perfectly. Not only does the protagonist of both films share the same name and alias, but the series of events follow each movie identically and the same jokes & gags are repeated verbatim. Only a few story elements were changed to accommodate American culture.

Personally, I went into the theater not knowing this information and felt an awkward presence throughout the movie. There were parts where a scene dealing with drug addiction was accompanied by some light guitar plucks and an accordion. The way character backgrounds were revealed seemed late and irrelevant to what was currently happening in the story. Since this film is practically just dubbed in English with new faces, the French style of directing could explain these nontraditional methods.

The biggest point of concern was the acting though. Not knowing this was a remake, one can properly appreciate the work all the actors put into their roles. However, copying the majority of a film just two years after its initial release isn’t a proud accomplishment. Vince Vaughn doesn’t bring his every-guy comedy. And, he and his supporting cast practically mime what others have already created. Chris Pratt did put on 60 pounds to better fit the role of part-time lawyer and full-time best friend. One only hopes that the large amount of young new talent seen in this film isn’t damaged by the insincere work they are acting with.

Ken Scott’s “Delivery Man,” a.k.a. “Starbuck,” is a clever tale of what a slacker is to do when not only is his life on the edge, but when he discovers 533 new things are going through some of the same things too. Fans will enjoy seeing familiar faces playing these colorful characters and movie buffs should enjoy a couple new ways New York is lit. My opinion is that this movie’s goal is to make a bigger buck since it is telling the same story with the same characters using the same words. Save yourself an overpriced ticket stub and go rent this film or look it up on Netflix. Both films will give you the same warm feelings and laughs, except one makes you pay for the shipping and handling.

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