Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: The Internship

World of Blackout Film Review

The Internship Poster

The Internship
Cert: 12A / 119 mins / Dir. Shawn Levy

Here is a movie so clockwork you can set your watch by it (which, for the record, no-one wears anymore). Produced by, written by, and starring Vince Vaughn with his pal Owen Wilson, and directed by Shawn 'The Rocker' Levy, The Internship is an underdog story of two middle-aged salesmen who find themselves out of a job and out of their depth surrounded by whizzkids; defaulted into a team of misfits who have little faith in themselves, never mind their aged counterparts; pitched as a mismatched unit against rival teams, with one particular outstanding a-hole as their chief antagonist, who will surely get his own personal comeuppance; constantly struggling to impress a stern, joyless supervisor; forced by circumstance to bond as a team, find their strengths and learn from each other to overcome their own obstacles; the youngsters are good at coding, the oldies are good at sports, drinking and fighting; just as things are beginning to gel, one final hurdle appears which threatens to derail the team's victory; will they make it? Well, will they?

You've seen this story so many times that the answer should be as obvious as Max Minghella's horrendous overacting. Every beat of this film is guided by a well-worn cinematic autopilot, with familiar charm riding roughshod over verve, inventiveness, and dramatic tension. The film's shorthand for geek culture consists of frequent techno-bullshit, a live-action game of Quidditch and four (yes four) separate Star Wars references. The fact that the team's inevitable victory consists of the duo using the skills they'd brought to the internship in the first place indicates an almost complete absence of character development, save for the fact that one of them gets a girlfriend. That trailer? ^^ That is the film.

Oh, and did I mention that I really rather enjoyed it?

It doesn't even fall into guilty-pleasure territory, I just liked it. The Internship is a very undemanding buddy-comedy with two inherently likeable leads doing what they do best. Like a new (or at least repainted) car on an old rollercoaster, there's never really any doubt that you'll stay firmly glued to the tracks, but the ride is there to be enjoyed nonetheless. Bonus points are awarded for not going down the gross-out route to achieve a 15 certificate, and for not giving Melissa McCarthy a role. Will Ferrell and Rob Riggle do have cameos, but both are short enough not to outstay their welcome. Josh Brener, Dylan O'Brien, Tiya Sircar and Tobit Raphael tick all the boxes as Owen and Vaughn's team-mates, and Aasif Mandvi and Rose Byrne put in respectable turns as employees of the world's largest search engine. The warm-heartedness of the film could easily be construed as laziness, but this film is the marshmallow to the sour-fizzies of This Is The End (landing here this Friday).

You know that comedy you see in the supermarket for £5 on DVD and you buy it with a few bottles of beer/wine, and you watch it with friends on a Saturday night and have a good time? That's The Internship. That's not to say you shouldn't watch it at the cinema, but it'll feel a lot better with a cold one in your hand*1.

I stand by my comment about Minghella, though. Over-egging the (free) pudding.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Acquitted by its own low standards, yes.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Honestly? DVD, but it's not a bad choice for Orange Wednesdays.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

*1 Okay, seriously though, that bit in the trailer with the 'putting up the paddles' and 'having a beer with your boss' and that? I'm with those two. You wanna grab a cold one with me? You let me know...

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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