daniel cohen googles a bad movie …
Plot: When two watch salesmen lose their business, they get an internship at Google, and find themselves competing for a full-time job with some of the smartest and most tech-savvy college kids in the country.
When I went to see The Internship, some guy behind me started laughing hard at the first couple jokes. He had the most irritating and annoying laugh you could possibly imagine. I said to myself, ‘Oh great, I’m gonna have to deal with this for two hours.’ But as it turns out, I didn’t need to worry about that, because there wasn’t much laughing going on after the initial belly laughs. Is The Internship a bad movie … no, but when the genre I’m going to see is in the comedy category, I would like to laugh at some point. And with this movie, and The Hangover Part III a few weeks ago, there is no denying the fact that comedy continues to be the weakest genre in film today.
So we got Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn reunited since 2005’s Wedding Crashers. They play Nick Campbell and Billy McMahon respectively. Wilson and Vaughn have okay chemistry, and even their first scene where they sing Alanis Morissette is kind of charming. But other than that, they are trademark Vaughn and Wilson to the point where it wouldn’t surprise me if they just re-edited old footage from their previous films to slap this movie together. There were a couple scenes that were just painful to watch.
In one scene, their characters are interviewing for the Google internship via video phone, and they are asked a question along the lines of, ‘If you were shrunk down inside a blender, what would you do?’ They just go off on this tangent that is supposed to be funny, but nobody has any clue what they are talking about. It’s Vaughn talking fast, and Wilson talking slow, and it’s literally just a bunch of gibberish that goes on for three minutes. They do this again when they have their first team assignment, where they have to fix a computer bug. They are talking about absolutely nothing, just at a mile a minute, but I have no clue what the joke is. Can someone please tell me? Aside from these moments, the characters are at least likable, have a good friendship, and didn’t irritate me too much.
But unfortunately, this film had plenty of side characters that really did get under my skin. So Google hires a shit load of genius interns, and they are separated into teams. The team who wins the group activities by the end of the summer get full-time jobs at Google. Nobody wants to be with Nick and Billy, because they are the old guys, so they get paired with the ‘rejects.’ Now, look — there’s charming quirky, and then there’s unsettling quirky. Their teammates fall into the unsettling category. You got a character called Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), the reserved Asian guy who was homeschooled, and punishes himself by plucking eyebrows out of his head. Then there’s the nerd chick Neha (Tiya Sircar), where the actress tries waaaaaaaaay too hard to force nerdy sex puns like wanting to be the Princess Leia slave girl. Yeah, we’ve never heard that one before. But instead of being funny, these characters come off as painfully awkward.
You got a couple other side characters that were passable, but still kind of annoying. Lyle (Josh Brener) is the team leader, and this is the most inconsistent written character in the movie. In one scene he’s the meek professional, then in the next, he’s talking to himself in the third person with an ego the size of a refrigerator. The only team member I kind of liked was the sarcastic douche-bag Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), who’s constantly looking at his phone. Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi), the internship supervisor, was also a solid character.
One of the few good aspects I’ll say about this movie though is that the real heart of it is watching these older guys motivate the younger students, and really bringing them together as a team. Despite a lot of awkward character traits, this element does work fairly well. My favorite scene, and where I thought the film could turn around is when Nick and Billy bring these guys to a wild club, and everyone has a lot of fun. Despite a terrible joke involving the Yo-Yo character, this was actually a very likable part of the movie. But after this scene, instead of picking up, the film simply got boring. So much of this could have been edited. 120 minutes for this movie … ridiculous.
But aside from the length, this film just isn’t funny. In a two hour comedy, you couldn’t give me one laugh out loud moment? There are terrible long running jokes, including Vaughn’s character calling ‘online,’ ‘on the line.’ Rose Byrne plays a love interest to Owen Wilson, and she’s a complete waste. There is zero chemistry between them, and they have a horrific long running joke of, ‘She’s the career driven woman, and never dates, so Wilson’s character has to give her all the dating cliches she’s missed out on all this time.’ Haha.
All this stuff was bad, but never unbearable. But the one thing I cannot forgive this movie for is the shameless Will Ferrell cameo. This is the most mailed in performance I’ve ever seen in my life. ‘Oh, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were in Wedding Crashers. Wasn’t it funny when Will Ferrell showed up and played an asshole? Let’s have him do that here.’ Look, Will Ferrell can still be funny, but this isn’t 2005 anymore. We aren’t just going to laugh because he walks on screen. Not that the writing was any good, but Ferrell doesn’t try at all here. This was absolutely pathetic.
There’s actually some seeds of a good movie in here. They touch on a few interesting topics such as young people basically not being able to get a job out of college, and becoming cynical. And I like the idea of the older generation coming in to a young man’s game to wreak havoc. But none of this is explored intelligently or humorously. Vaughn and Wilson are decent, and it’s at least charming here and there, but there’s no reason to see this. Also, how did these guys even get the actual internship interview so easily? It’s Google … are you kidding me?! I feel like just to get an interview at Google, you have to know the President or something. Really … Vince Vaughn just applies online? Now that is some bullshit.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Barely Passable Entertainment)