I hope the following blurb ends up on The Internship‘s DVD case: This movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Taking Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson — two actors with careers on the downturn — and trying to recreate their 2005 hit Wedding Crashers is not a good idea. That the film isn’t a full-blown disaster — it’s mostly harmless and even a bit sweet-natured — is a small victory. The downside is that it’s still pretty lousy and totally unmemorable. Vaughn and Wilson often look a bit weary and bored with the material, while the movie itself is too long, too hokey and simply not very funny.
The Internship works on the premise that Vaughn and Wilson are suddenly unemployed salesmen who, desperate for a job, weasel their way into an internship at Google, in the hope of it turning into gainful employment. In some ways, the film works as an ad for Google, which — if what is shown is true — makes them look like the most ass-backward company imaginable, and not just because they think hitching their name to Vince Vaughn in 2013 is a good idea. In the world The Internship inhabits, Google chooses their employees via a series of silly teamworking competitions. This, of course, exists for no other reason than to drive the story forward and build up its underdog themes, but it’s still pretty goofy and makes a dumb movie just that much dumber.
Most of the movie’s plot and comedy hinge on the main characters being too old — and in many respects, too dimwitted — to cut it in a new world ruled by technology. This could be some kind of commentary on our two stars’ careers and a world in which their fast-talking, pop culture-referencing (mostly boring nods to nerd culture and ‘80s movies) brand of comedy just feels stale and lazy. But that would be giving the film too much credit, since it has much simpler aims than this — mostly shooting for little more than feel-good pap. This kind of sort of works because the film is satisfying within the constraints of its incredibly predictable, corny nature. This is little consolation, though, as it comes at the tail end of a film that’s at least 20 minutes too long, and filled with way too much of Vaughn and Owen’s played-out schtick. That the film is somehow watchable may be a minor miracle, but that’s hardly a recommendation. Rated PG-13 for sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language.
Playing at Carmike 10, Carolina Cinemas, Epic of Hendersonville, Regal Biltmore Grande