Unfinished Business lacks plotline despite an attempt at comedic value

Ella Cook

When hardworking businessman Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) opens a new mineral company fails at the start of the movie “Unfinished Business,” the startup falls flat. After a year of failed business deals, Dan is finally offered a partnership with a successful corporation and must travel to Berlin, Germany to complete the business deal.

While there was potential to create a plot with both comedy and sentimental value, the film focused too much on creating a comedic tone, making the movie fall flat. Although some of the comedy in the movie was funny, most of the jokes made were unoriginal and raunchy. For a film that heavily depended on comedic timing to progress the somewhat boring plotline, the jokes failed to do their job.

Dan, Timothy, and Mike  return home after their trip to Berlin, Germany.
Dan, Timothy, and Mike return home after their trip to Berlin, Germany.

“Unfinished Business” follows Dan’s travels to Berlin with two of his colleagues, Mike Pancake (Dave Franco) and Timothy McWinters (Tom Wilkinson).

With a family at home, Dan hopes that by making the deal he will have enough money to send his children to private school.

Dan’s character was developed well enough that the audience could relate to him. He struggled during many parts of the film in both his business life and family life–but other than this struggle, the movie focuses far too much on comedy and not enough on character development.

It is difficult to create a movie that has both comedic and intellectual value, but in this case, it seems as though there was little attempt to create a mix.

Dan’s colleague Mike does little to advance character development. Mike is a young clueless character who provided some comical moments but lacked a sense of character outside of these moments.

However, Dan’s other colleague, Timothy McWinters, does open up about his life occasionally to give his character more depth.

Towards the middle the movie, while Dan is in Berlin, the audience learns more about Dan’s children, Bess and Paul. It becomes evident that both his kids have trouble fitting in socially at school.

While this could have been an interesting point of the movie, the writers chose to take a different direction and focused much more on the comedic side. There was potential to develop a plotline focused much more on the story of Dan’s children but because there wasn’t much emphasis on the story of his children, it felt like unnecessary information in the movie’s simplistic plotline.

If the movie took a different direction and focused slightly more on the story of Bess a

nd Paul, it could have created more substance and a lesson that could be learned from the movie.

Other movies in a similar genre as “Unfinished Business,” such as “21 Jump Street,” have taken a much better attempt to create a sentimental yet comedic tone.