Vince Vaughn got a spot on the walk of fame in Hollywood last year. That’s nice and all but unless that was shit he dipped his hands into, it’s not that great of a moment. Vaughn has been churning out flops for years now, and he is 46 years old.
As a fan of his older work, he has me worried. He has either suddenly become unfunny or is making terrible career choices. His movies aren’t making money or laughs and he looks like he is trying very hard. What happened to the guy who made laugh so hard and fast in Wedding Crashers that my dad and I nearly had to leave the theater to catch our breath? He’s fucking gone and I don’t know when he is coming back.
His latest drivel, 2015’s Unfinished Business, opening to 5 million dollars in 2,777 domestic locations. That’s the kind of dough a small indie makes in several weeks or what Fifty Shades of Grey grossed in an hour. It’s pathetic because Vaughn is talented and as his character has said plenty over the years, “you’re better than this.”
What is the last official good Vaughn flick? Into the Wild in 2007, where he drew upon some of his earlier dramatic work to produce a juicy supporting role as a man who helps Emile Hirsch’s seeker along the way. The Break Up came out a year earlier and got a lot of attention due to Vaughn’s romance with his co-star Jennifer Aniston. It was a very funny film that allowed Aniston to not suck for a change and holds up well on repeat viewings(just watched it on cable last month several times). That was good comedy. Jon Favreau was there and so was Jason Bateman.
It was the end of a fantastic run for Vaughn, one that started with Old School and continued with Starsky and Hutch, Dodgeball, a great role in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and culminated with Crashers. He couldn’t miss then and was so funny. If he was able to unleash his own brand of comedy, the film was better for it. These days, his methods and madness has tamed and gone to crap. Last year’s Internship was especially sad. He co-wrote the film and helped produce it, and the result was a playful if horribly unfunny exercise that made Adam Sandler seem more appealing. The Dilemma opened to 7 million domestically.
Vaughn’s cameo in Anchorman 2, like the entire sequel itself, was overwrought and not funny. It was forced, which is the exact feeling I have when the last 8 years of his work comes to mind. What’s wrong with the guy? Being a Cubs fan always concerns me, but it could be more than that. Maybe, Vaughn likes playing the same loveable lug with a heart of gold and a smart ass mouth. Playing the same guy has suited a man like Jason Statham quite well over the course of his career. He knows exactly what he is and hasn’t strayed. Vaughn was once considered not funny enough when auditioning for Swingers due to his early dramatic work and now he isn’t funny enough to make a shitty script sing for the fans. What gives?
Vaughn may be getting a clue. He took a crucial part in HBO’s True Detective second season this summer, playing a criminal under siege. It’s television but it’s a highly regarded Emmy nominated series with loads of cinematic talent involved. It could be the starting point of something special for Vaughn, because his other 2015 release(The Peter Billingsley directed Term Life) doesn’t look too promising. After the HBO stint, Vaughn should look into a Wedding Crashers or Old School sequel or look into an indie production. Sometimes, you have to go back in order to move forward. Yeah, I just stole a Matthew McConaughey line from a Lincoln car commercial. You see the depths I’m going to in this article. It’s sad. The last chunk of Vince Vaughn’s career has been sad.
Here’s what he has coming up. The drama/comedy Term Life this year followed by roles in Brawl in Cell Block 99, The Archbishop and the Antichrist, and Hacksaw Ridge. Fuck me.
Can he recover it? Who knows. What will it take? Something that thrills us or makes us laugh will do. The good thing about the movies is a comeback story can happen at any age and the audiences is always waiting to celebrate it.
The bad news is Vince Vaughn is turning into Adam Sandler real quick. Stop it dude.