If movies were buskers, Delivery Man would be a big dorky guy with a ‘Free Hugs’ sign. It’s easy to ignore, doesn’t demonstrate any outstanding talent and you wouldn’t think to pay a lot of money for its services, but if you put yourself in its embrace, it’s hard not to walk away feeling chipper.
Vince Vaughn does two kinds of roles well: a big brother and a loveable loser. In the titular role of the man who delivered sperm – used in accidental excess to create 533 children – Vaughn is in his element as meat truck-driving dropkick David Wozniak. When a subset of 142 young adults file a lawsuit to reveal his identity, known only to them under the pseudonym ‘Starbuck’, his overwhelming sense of responsibility inspires him to covertly play ‘guardian angel’ to each of them, culminating in moments that are as sweet as they are contrived.
Playing Wozniak’s pregnant girlfriend is the woefully underused Cobie Smulders, a role that sees her complaining about why he’s never around only to have the film neglect her in similar fashion. The legal issue that arises from Starbuck’s situation is also sparsely explored, with the ensuing court case riddled with vagueness as to what exactly caused the initial sperm donating error or why these kids are so motivated to reveal his identity. Perhaps the assumption is that this subset lacked a decent father figure in comparison to the majority of his donor babies, but the point could have used the clarity to heighten its emotional payoff.
All these faults were present in Ken Scott’s French-Canadian original (Starbuck) too, and here he returns to helm his own remake.Delivery Man also shares in its predecessor’s strengths, striking the warm fuzzies beat-for-beat and nailing the value of unity – no matter how it’s produced. The only element that rises above its predecessor is Chris Pratt’s significantly funnier quad-child-bearing loser of a lawyer.
‘Delivery Man’ Movie Times