Wednesday, 3 July 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: The Internship

This extended advertisement for Google hopes to have the same kind of success as stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s previous collaboration, Wedding Crashers, did.

It won’t. 

Laid off from their job as face-to-face salesmen, Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson), down on their luck and desperate for a job, apply for an internship at Google’s San Francisco HQ, despite knowing nothing about computers. Once there, they are put into groups and made to complete various Google specific tasks in the hope of being offered a permanent post. If you’ve read that paragraph you’ll know exactly how the movie will play out; and it doesn’t deviate from the template too much.

Our protagonists are teamed up with a walking bunch of clichés; the sarcastic cool kid, the uptight Asian kid, the token girl and the socially awkward nerd. Together after a rocky start they must learn to work as a team if they’re to stand a chance of winning the job of their dreams. The nerds Nick and Billy are teamed up with will learn life lessons and discover there’s more to life than sitting in front of a computer screen, while the nerds will try to bring Billy and Nick into the modern world. It wouldn’t really be a spoiler to tell you the ending of the film. I won’t, but you can take a wild stab.

The two leads are basically playing exactly the same characters they’ve played before, with Vaughn doing his confident motormouth schtick (becoming ever more tiresome) and Wilson the relaxed surfer dude thing (likeable, but boring). Each of the kids, despite having predictable and archetypal roles to play, are endearing rather than annoying even if the Asian kid cutting loose cliché is present and correct here. Rose Byrne barely registers as a Google employee and love interest for Nick. 

Hilarious, said no-one.

It’s as predictable as they come, and sadly there aren’t many laughs to elevate proceedings during the first half of the film; all the jokes are fish-out-of-water gags, like having Billy not knowing how to work a webcam (which might have been funnier ten years ago) or constantly saying ‘on-the-line’ instead of ‘online’ in a joke that goes on far longer than it should. Thankfully, the second half of the film picks up, starting with a Quidditch game of all things, and there are a few decent laugh out loud moments once the film gets it’s set up out of the way.

However, outside of those few big laughs the film is only chucklesome for the most part when you want to be full on belly laughing. The cynical use of Google doesn’t help matters either, being constantly reminded that it’s an ‘amazing place to work’ and continually seeing Google products and Google apps and services everywhere and Google this and Google that makes it feels less of a film and more of a brainwashing exercise first and a comedy second.

A diverting enough 90 minutes, but it won’t live long in the memory.

2 stars