I like Vince Vaughn. There, I said it. He hasn’t been in a good movie since 2005’s Wedding Crashers but in the early noughties he and the rest of the “Frat Pack” (Owen Wilson, Will Farrell and the like) could do no wrong. Vaughn was almost always the fast-talking, bipedal id, just pure charm, sarcasm, swagger, and impulsivity. He had a twinkle in his eye and just enough pudge to be approachable. Attainable. He was everybody’s fake boyfriend around the time he pretended to be Jennifer Aniston’s. But he never translated that shtick into anything else, and repeating it in movies like that Google commercial The Intern, and the even more unwatchable Unfinished Business, it just gets sad. Nobody wants to see him do it anymore.
In Term Life, Vince Vaughn is a bit of a dirt bag, so it’s “better” for “everyone” if he stays out of his 16 year old daughter’s life. He plans thefts. He’s a criminal; not a particularly good one, he’s just trying to stay one step ahead of his gambling problem. But then some dirty cops frame him for a bust gone wrong, and it’s not just his neck on the chopping block, but his daughter’s (played by Hailee Steinfeld) as well.
Vince Vaughn needs a hit. This wasn’t it. I’m not super confident that the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge will be either. At least he’ll be embracing his dramatic roots, but Hacksaw Ridge is an Andrew Garfield vehicle about a conscientious objector during WW2. Vaughn’s a second banana at best, billed below Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, and Teresa Palmer.
Vaughn’s in need of a career intervention (a McVaughnaissance?) even though I’m not sure he really deserves one anymore. He’s a gun nut – and I mean that in every sense: that he likes guns, and that he has insane beliefs about them. Like putting guns in schools makes kids safer. But he lives in a free country, and he’s entitled to his wrong opinion. He’s also entitled to keep making insipid assembly-line comedies that go straight to video. So there’s that.