I like Vince Vaughn as much as the next guy, and I think he makes any movie better, but when the script and the direction is terrible, it’s a little harder to salvage. And I’m talking about easily fixable mistakes. One character says that he’s 67 years old, and then there’s a time lapse of 1 year and he still talks about how he’s 67 years old. It’s just really sloppy.
Dan (Vince Vaughn) quits his job to start a company to compete with his former. He recruits two hopefuls (Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson), and together they try to make a new life for themselves. A year later they have gotten nowhere and Dan is trying to send his kids to private school because they are being bullied at their current school. Dan and his two employees chase a deal all the way to Berlin, but realize that they may be the decoy deal.
The script is very unorganized and it makes us put the pieces together for a lot of crucial information. The whole time Dan is trying to make business moves, but only the business-minded audience members will understand what’s going on and what the significance of certain characters are.
There are also huge narrative flaws, which include fitful pacing and inconsistencies in the tone. It can’t decide whether it wants to be vulgar or sweet, and it doesn’t balance the two very well.
Despite all these negative comments, I did enjoy the movie. It has a sincere anti-bullying theme and I laughed throughout. It’s just not very well-made. Some jokes fall flat, some don’t even make sense, and there is too much reliance on the humor of Vaughn’s straight man to Franco’s cluelessness.
A movie’s gotta be at least a little more than just the laughs in provides. It has to have a well thought out structure. It can’t win without it–otherwise, what’s to prevent every other person who can write funny jokes from cranking out films the lazy way?