Threat is defined as a person or a circumstance which is likely to result in damage or danger; the operative word being DANGER. But the big question stands, where is the real danger in Unfinished Business? The character of Chuck (Sienna Miller) acts as the antagonist in the binary opposite dynamic set up from the off. Chuck is a part of this massive cooperation, whereas Dan (Vince Vaughn) is a part of a small business. I get it, we are meant to route for the underdog. The thing is I don’t hate Chuck. She is annoying, yes, but hate is a strong word. As a viewer I am meant to get a kick when the binary opposite gets their comeuppance. Sadly, for this film, that was not the case.
So even though I didn’t see Chuck (A.K.A the main conflict) as an issue you would think there would be another device to raise the stakes right? They could do this by maybe by adding in time constraints? Fortunately they did, but again I didn’t really think it added much threat. Dan’s son, Paul, is getting bullied at school (which is a serious issue) and so Dan’s wife wants to send him to private school. The time issue is that Dan needs to close a business deal, to get the money in order to move his son out of his current school. Hmmm, I understand that being bullied is really horrible, but since there isn’t an exact time limit to the situation (it isn’t like a bomb needs defusing in X amount of time) the urgency is lost and the threat along with it. Plus, even if Dan did fail to close the deal there are other options the family could take to solve the issue. Why not home tutor Paul or send him to another tuition free school? Why does it have to be private?
I also had issues with credibility. Dan is obviously a very clever man and so there are no credibility issues there. My big issue is with Mike Pancake (Dave Franco… James Franco’s brother!) His lack of intelligence is used as an avenue for humour. At one point he even thinks that a rectangle is a square (it’s all very funny.) However, later on in the film Dan is praising him for an amazing job on some numbers which he did for the business report. So, okay, he doesn’t know what a rectangle is, but sure, he is capable of working out complicated business cash flow forecasts, which I can’t even do and I studied business for three years. Sorry, but I am not buying it, this character is set up to be mind numbing cringe worthy and stupid. By pimping his character out for humour his credibility is lost.
So as harsh as it sounds, this film does lack conflict and does have some credibility issues, but that does not go to say that it was a terrible film, because I actually thought it was very enjoyable. I liked the fact that they highlighted bullying as a massive problem. And I liked how they explained that bulling isn’t just a thing which happens in the school play ground as social media is in our homes and is used to directly hurt us. The BBFC gave this film a rating of fifteen which means it is targeted at older generations. When I was in the cinema I noticed there was a real mixture of different age groups watching the film. Bullying has a tendency to isolate individuals and so perhaps parents, sisters, brothers and friends of bulling victims will see the film and realise that bulling is an issue and it could be one of their loved ones being bullied without them even noticing. This film raises bulling awareness nicely.
Another thing I liked was the use of voice over. Dan’s daughter is given homework where she has to write about her father. The question “who is your daddy?” is a nice technique used to project Dan’s inner thoughts and feelings and also to assess the situation. Voice over is used subtly and doesn’t feel disjointed. Although the voice over does not bring up new situations it is a good way of concluding what has already happened, thus reminding the viewer of all the little details we may have forgotten.
Nick Frost also features in this film. Unfinished Business gains an extra star in my opinion purely because he stars in it. #Suchagoodactor
So overall, the film wasn’t bad. It was funny in places and it was entertaining to some extent. Although I enjoy watching comedies, I have to remind myself that comedies tend to be more farcical and often focus on the laughs rather than the storyline. I guess what I am trying to say is that it was good for a comedy film and although it has plot flaws, it’s worth a one time watch. After all it does have Nick Frost in it. Would I have been happy paying ten quid for a cinema ticket to watch it? No way.
I am have ten magic ★ chocolates, but I only eat five, leaving the packet unfinished. This film gets five★’s.