Cinema can make you believe a whole range of surreal, supernatural things. Be it flying elephants, talking pigs, or houses floating in the sky. However Ken Scott’s Delivery Man, (which is actually a remake of his very own film Starbuck, that came out no less than three years ago) takes it just a step too far. The outlandish premise of a man donating enough sperm to father 533 children is one thing, but presenting it more like a drama as opposed to fantasy, simply leads on to a lot of hole picking.
Vince Vaughn plays David Wozniak, an ill-fated delivery man, who is taken aback by the news that his girlfriend Emma (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant. Worrying incessantly about fathering a child, David has a shock on his hands when he receives a documentation stating he is the biological father of 533 kids following various trips to the fertility clinic – and that 142 of them are filing a lawsuit to reveal his identity. Hiring his best friend Brett (Chris Pratt) to be his lawyer, David is instructed to avoid making any contact with his children – yet he lets his curiosity get the better of him, as he secretly visits a handful of them, in an attempt to prove he has what it takes to be a father after all.
Scott has evidently remade his previous title (which was in French Canadian) to appeal to a broader audience and demographic, however it is a shame he hasn’t taken this opportunity to attempt to put right some of the various shortcomings from the original. Instead Delivery Man plays out almost like a shot for shot remake, with little creative or artistic licence used. Nonetheless, Vaughn works well as our protagonist, as he’s intrinsically likeable, which is imperative as far as this role is concerned. We need to remain on David’s side, and Vaughn ensures this be the case – in spite of the several imperfections and flaws to his demeanour.
The film remains far too mawkish and clichéd however, with the children that David visits ranging from heroin abusers to basketball stars, and it’s all just too predictable. The one message to be taken from this film, however, is simply to not remake your own films – because there is no denying that Delivery Man has a potentially hilarious premise, and one that makes for intriguing cinematic material, yet perhaps it just needed a fresh, unique eye to come on board and give the film the rejuvenation it so needed.