Editor’s Notes: The Internship opens in wide tomorrow, June 7th.
Back in 2005, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson joined forces to produce the wonderfully funny Wedding Crashers. Coming a full four years before The Hangover and a month before The 40 Year Old Virgin, the film was one of the first in a growing club of appropriately inappropriate, endlessly quotable and just downright entertaining comedies. The chemistry between Vaughn and Wilson propelled the film to success and was a big contributor to its overall charm. Following an eight year absence, the two reunite with The Internship and it looks like things just aren’t the same.
Following an eight year absence, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite with The Internship and it looks like things just aren’t the same.
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are fantastic salesmen. They research their targets thoroughly and know how to get to a yes. Unfortunately, the digital age is rendering them obsolete and they are blindsided on a sales call with news that their company has closed. Left with few options and even fewer marketable skills, the guys are lost. Billy takes it upon himself to think outside the box and finds what he thinks is the perfect company for the two: Google. Through some creative résumé building and enrollments in University of Phoenix, Billy is able to score him and Nick internships at the company. Now they have to compete against 95% of the other interns for the highly sought after positions.
This film is the definition of lazy. The plot itself is a near complete rehash of Wedding Crashers, except not funny. It is as if the filmmakers took Wedding Crashers by the ankles and shook it vigorously until all of the best moments and anything that would illicit hearty laughter fell out. They then took this abused skeleton and threw some new clothes on it to give the illusion of a complete film. We even have a Rachel McAdams fill-in with Rose Byrne as the woman that rebuffs Owen Wilson’s charm only to realize that he really is just the greatest guy. If we were to ignore the rampant sloth involved in throwing this back at us, the film is utterly predictable. It does not seem interested in surprising you or doing anything slightly novel. Have you watched a movie in the last five years? Then you know exactly how this film will play out.
The film’s reliance on Google isn’t initially off-putting but makes sure that we will hate it eventually. Google is a tech giant overpopulated by youth, only further alienating Billy and Nick. On first glance, Google seems like a fine choice, but the company’s omnipresence becomes annoying. With each challenge the interns face the glorious nature of Google is shoved deeper down your throat. Look at all the products that Google offers! Google places such importance on customer support! Do you see all that Google can provide you? It is obtrusive and leaves the film looking like one long, boring commercial for the company (with the occasional interjection from Miller Lite). I blame the film, but only because I respectfully fear Google’s reach (they will one day become self aware, and I don’t want this being dug up). The film does not provide a convincing reason for its choice of company; the action could be moved to any tech giant with few changes.
On first glance, Google seems like a fine choice, but the company’s omnipresence becomes annoying. With each challenge the interns face the glorious nature of Google is shoved deeper down your throat.
The script, written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern, does not bother with character development. The surrounding cast hosts a cadre of walking talking clichés. The Big Bang Theory would chastise this film for its oversimplification of “nerds”. The villainous group that plagues Billy and Nick for intermittent portions of the film is defined by its leader; I couldn’t even tell you the names of its other members, unable to evolve past simple descriptions such as fat or pretty blonde. Our central team’s inhabitants, and the focus for a great amount of our time, strain to become more than basic archetypes. Even our two protagonists are exceptionally shallow. Everyone has ignorance of anything outside their stated interests. Billy and Nick know all about how to sell and the specifics of Flashdance but apparently almost nothing about the internet or Star Wars (an inclusion that is incredibly unbelievable). The characters behave the way they do because the film says so and no one is looking to explain it any further. The clumsy nature could potentially be forgiven if the film were actually funny. Unfortunately, swaths of tired and unoriginal jokes do not a great comedy make.
When a film is a success there will always be the desire to replicate it. You have captured lightning in a bottle once, so why not do it all over again? The Internship shows just how difficult that can be. The film recycles the structure of its predecessor to diminishing returns. It is predictable and an overlong bore. Character development is nonexistent and more time is spent forcing a pro-Google agenda. The characters we are forced to deal with are trite and offensively unfunny. The Internship is not engaging, interesting or, most importantly, funny. At one point a character chastises Vince Vaughn by saying, “you’re saying a lot of words really fast that mean nothing”, and I don’t know that I could find a better way to describe this film.
[notification type=”star”]18/100 ~ UNBEARABLE. The film recycles the structure of its predecessor to diminishing returns. It is predictable and an overlong bore. Character development is nonexistent and more time is spent forcing a pro-Google agenda. The characters we are forced to deal with are trite and offensively unfunny. The Internship is not engaging, interesting or, most importantly, funny.[/notification]