Delivery Man is a remake of 2011 French-Canadian production Starbuck, but maybe all you need to know is that it’s a Vince Vaughn movie that is too out-there to take seriously, and too tepid to be consistently funny.
Vaughn plays yet another variation on his stock character — the likably sardonic man-child whose wardrobe consists of the clothes you wear when you want to go outside to grab the paper. Ken Scott, who directed the original, returns for the same duty. The main character, David Wozniak, works in his father’s butcher shop, and delivers meat in and around New York. He also owes a pretty penny to bookies who aren’t averse to bringing the muscle, and his pregnant girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) has understandably had enough of his irresponsibility.
Wozniak makes bad decisions, but he’s very generous. Generous enough to have sent his parents on an expensive vacation 20 years prior thanks to his generosity at a sperm bank.
So much did he give, that Wozniak learns he is the biological father to 533 children. Those children have grown to college age and 142 are seeking to learn his identity through a class-action lawsuit. This is the nagging aspect of the plot — a herd of 20-somethings gathering to find out who Wozniak is, and not a single mother or father who raised them around, as if they were orphans who magically made it to adulthood.
Wozniak is initially terrified by the news, but after receiving a packet that contains the names and addresses of everyone in the lawsuit, his curiosity has him stalking his offspring around. He ends up bonding with some and acting as a guardian angel for others.
Vaughn brings his typical deadpan sarcasm, which shares time with his low-key exasperation. And thanks to him, some of this stuff is funny. But the tired premise — irresponsible guy learns the value of getting his act together — ends up getting in the way of a more interesting story, one that isn't reduced to being another assembly-line comedy.