In his second corporate comedy in two years, we find Vince Vaughn (The Internship) in a familiar role: a hardworking guy trying to succeed in business on his own terms. This time, as Dan Trunkman, he’s one year into running his own company, Apex Select, with Mike Pancake (Dave Franco), a slow-witted, socially challenged whippersnapper, and Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson), who’s not quite ready for retirement. Dan believes he’s finally landed the deal that’ll launch the company to a new level—all he needs to do is fly the team to Portland to shake hands and finalize the terms.
But once Dan learns that his former boss (Sienna Miller) is in town competing for the same partnership, hard-ass executive Jim Spinch (James Marsden) and his right-hand man Bill Whilmsley (Nick Frost) suggest the trio present directly to their parent company in Germany if they want to seal the deal.
Once in Berlin, we expect the “business trip of a lifetime,” as the movie is billed, to finally begin. But instead of an all-out raunch-fest, we get a tonal mess that jumbles elements of PG-rated fare with Eurotrip-esque shenanigans. Frequent FaceTime calls from Dan’s family interrupt the action, clashing with other moments, such as 67-year-old Tim discussing his desire to try wheelbarrowing. Somewhat randomly, Unfinished Business embraces the anti-bullying cause, with Dan attempting to explain the evils of bullying to his children during via FaceTime. Soft-spoken Mike even opens up about the realities of bullying, but the real talk and shots of Tim taking bong hits in the background dilute each other and add up to less than the sum of their parts.
The movie struggles to find its comedic footing by trying to bring out the family man in Dan Trunkman and underutilizing Franco, whose character clearly has much more to his disadvantage than a lack of prior business experience. Bottom line: Unfinished Business doesn’t deserve that handshake after all. C