By ANDREW LINK (digitalBURG) – Welcome to another movie starring Owen Wilson as Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as Vince Vaughn.
“The Internship” is written by Vaughn, presumably to ensure he and Wilson weren’t in any way pushed to do something different than they’re used to. The movie is directed by Sean Levy, who has given us fantastic five- and six-out-of-10 garbage like “Night at the Museum,” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” and of course the unforgettable “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.”
OK, so he’s getting better. More recently, Levy has directed “Date Night” and “Real Steel,” both of which were not totally horrible.
The problem with reviewing comedies is the same problem you get with horror flicks. What’s funny or scary to one person really has no bearing on whether it’s a good movie all around.
The hardest part for me is setting aside my distaste for certain actors. It seems symptomatic of comedies in general that actors tend to be the same in everything. Chances are you have a vehement hatred for at least one comedy superstar like Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride or, let’s get a little crazy here and say, Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson.
If you don’t like them in one movie, you’re probably not going to like them in almost anything else they’ve done. Unfortunately, the opposite isn’t necessarily true. I’ve seen “Shanghai Noon” more times than I would admit under torture, but find Wilson tedious in just about anything else. Maybe you loved Sandler in “Big Daddy,” but that doesn’t mean you cracked a smile during “Funny People,” because no one did.
Yet, Vaughn and Wilson have an undeniable chemistry perfect for that feel-good buddy movie everyone likes to see now and then. That chemistry is abundant in spades in “The Internship,” and the fact that Vaughn wrote a big chunk of the script knowing he’d be working with Wilson again gives it well-timed comedy that flows.
Unfortunately, it flows entirely too long. Clocking in at just less than two hours, it seems the editors were lax in cutting totally superfluous scenes down to size. To make matters worse, some of the longer scenes are blatant sex comedy in a film tagged with a PG-13 sticker. It was difficult not to feel bad for the guy who’d brought his young daughter to see a wholesome comedy while strippers paraded around the screen for 10 minutes leading up to ejaculation jokes. There’s nothing to warrant an R rating on “The Internship,” but it really goes out of its way to shatter its status as a family movie.
The audience received the movie well enough. There were a few laughs to be had and “The Internship” managed to be entertaining without becoming too ridiculous. However, it’s not breaking any new ground. Most of the movie seems like a giant advertisement for Google, and the corporate monolith is portrayed in a sickeningly lovable way. We’re also asked to suspend our belief that anyone over the age of 35 is capable of using the Internet, but the heart-warming messages are still there: generations can learn from one another, perseverance overcomes adversity, being kind gets you ahead and all that mushy stuff we love to believe is true.
It’s impossible not to compare “The Internship” to “Wedding Crashers.” In short, “The Internship” falls short on every level. Perhaps the PG-13 rating held it back, but the laughs-per-minute just weren’t there. The comedy is rote, the movie is full of predictable clichés and “The Internship” didn’t have the memorable zings that “Wedding Crashers” had in its arsenal. In fact, by the time you get to the parking lot there probably won’t be much from “The Internship” that you actually remember. It’s another very forgettable film made by and for a couple of stars trying to recapture a past success while not seeming to replicate it outright.
The “Crashers” duo perform exactly as we expect them to perform, so there should be very few surprises from “The Internship.” If you like Vaughn and Wilson in their other movies, you’ll like them in “The Internship.” However, if you can wait to catch this movie at home, you should.
“The Internship” clocks in at a very average 5.2/10.