Director: Shawn Levy Writer: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne Running Time: 119 Minutes Year: 2013
Those schticksters of comedy, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have been reunited for the first time since 2005’s Wedding Crashers for The Internship. Their irresponsible hijinks have been cast aside this time around, as they take on the role of two salesmen from Arizona. After losing their jobs, they trek to California in the pursuit of the American dream. A newly realised American dream; that of a bagging an internship at Google.
Bungling their way through a Google hangout interview, the film’s ending – while in the distance, is more obvious than a cricket bat to the face. This however, isn’t the kind of cultural offering you’d venture to in order to be enriched by its daring. It’s light hearted comedy, succumbing to a rigid formula put in place to guarantee audiences will get exactly what they want. There’s nothing wrong with a well orchestrated romp…it’s the execution of it that could leave some wanting.
The chemistry between Wilson and Vaughn serves as the mortar holding all of the story threads together. The frumpiest, oldest du-udes enrolled kickstarts a number of set ups playing off their outdated work ethic. No one wants to join their group. No one wants to help them. It’s certainly not the main intention of their journey but a quiet sadness lingers as these two men who’re the top of the game, realise that no one is playing it anymore.
But hey, we’re here for the laughs right? It’s unfortunate there’s simply not enough. The best arrives in the first twenty minutes with a genius cameo I won’t spoil here. Early on in the process, Vaughn and Wilson are subjected to the zeitgeist quippery of their much younger contemporaries, leading to a couple of very funny incidents as they join a team of oddballs for the summer’s challenges. What starts off as a straight forward comedy segues into a general feelgood “you can achieve anything if you work hard” flick, losing any sharpness and ingenuity it could have run with. This isn’t helped by a two-hour running time which flabs out the middle when it should be whipping towards the inevitable finale with gags and heart. But it wavers too long on the moment of indecision before the duo’s last victory.
“What starts off as a straight forward comedy segues into a general feelgood “you can achieve anything if you work hard” flick, losing any sharpness and ingenuity it could have run with.”
The two leads have a gift for spinning dialogue into polished gems of wit and slapstick, as evidenced by every film either of them have appeared in. Considering Vaughn co-wrote the script, why weren’t the gags more consistent? Could Rose Byrne’s bespectacled love interest not have been thrown a little more meat to chew on? At the very least, the second half IS entertaining if light on funnies. The gang of misfits unite to defeat the rival team headed up by the obligatory British villain.
All the flack aimed at the film for its brazen ambition to be a feature-length advert for Google is deserved – it’s unabashed and rather insulting. Crafting a Google wherein any old bastard can get a job, regardless of skill is a convenience included despite the fact that getting into the technological behemoth is nothing like its depicted in this film. Trying to get an internship at THE tech company requires a basic knowledge of coding, of social media, of everything Google offers – and Wilson and Vaughn’s guys have none of them. Sure, people can learn, which is the kicker, as if everyone was given a chance then we’d all have a shot at success.
There’s a lot of bones to pick due to the film perching on the shoulders of the world’s internet giant, but it’s doubtful that will deter throngs of cinemagoers. They’ll go for its stars and despite a drought of jokes in the latter half, they’ll likely leave satiated.[vsw id=”cdnoqCViqUo” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]