Today, here are quick mini-reviews for two comedies: The Internship and This Is The End.
Directed by: Shawn Levy (Real Steel)
Starring: Vince Vaughn (The Break Up), Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers), Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) and more.
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and some crude humor
Synopsis: “Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. Trying to prove they are not obsolete, they defy the odds by talking their way into a coveted internship at Google, along with a battalion of brilliant college students. But, gaining entrance to this utopia is only half the battle. Now they must compete with a group of the nation’s most elite, tech-savvy geniuses to prove that necessity really is the mother of re-invention.”
Comedy duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson team up once again in this recent comedic cinematic caravan of laughs, product placement and self-discovery. After losing their jobs as salesmen, Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) use the largest internet search engine (Google) to search for jobs and find an internship with Google that places them in direct competition with digital savvy applicants vying for the same position. Google not presents them with an internship opportunity, but ultimately an opportunity to find meaning in their relationships, friendships, careers and their own lives all while having a ton of laughs along the way.
Depending on your love for the comedy of Owen “crooked nose” Wilson and Vince “Mile-a-Minute Mouth” Vaughn, you either will or will not enjoy The Internship (and, on that note, based you your enjoyment of the Vaughn/Wilson team, you either will or will not even bother to see this one). Full of simple plot points, cookie-cutter characters and inconsequentially continual product promotion The Internship is no “intellectually deep” movie. It is entertaining, albeit a tad too long, and brings out the fun of competition, generational gap and hopeful last chance achievers in a movie that attempts to balance the laughs with life. With a fun supporting cast of recognizable faces (much like films like American Pie and Wedding Crashers) there are the staple characters, Vaughn and Wilson lead this film and make it an unexpected fun film.
Focused entirely on Vaughn and Wilson’s characters, The Internship lacks in using the supporting cast (and arguably the leads) in any way that takes the film beyond being a routine comedy along the same lines as other comedies. As the film draws to an end, the laughs seen before do little to evoke laughter once again and the countdown to the expected end begins. Will the interns get the job? Will the guy get the girl? Will more than one person find out more about themselves than they imagined? The Internship answers the questions exactly as anticipated. The Internship: a routine comedy based on an unimaginative story comprised of relatable fun worth a rental or a carefree movie night with friends.
Did I enjoy The Internship? Even though true Google internships are not quite as they are portrayed to be, I found this one to be as fun as any internship I’d hope to earn. But it is definitely not for everyone.
The Internship: Perhaps you need not apply.
SCORE: (2/5 stars)
Directed by: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
Starring: Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), James Franco (Pineapple Express), Jonah Hill (Moneyball) and more.
Rating: R for strong language, sexual content/brief graphic nudity, drug and alcohol usage, violence and more.
Synopsis: “The film follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.”
Review: How do you review a film like this? I find it difficult to do so when it comes to these types because on one hand, parodies and silly films like this are already, arguably, just BAD films overall, but the genius inclusion of satirical comedy and outlandish plots, in the end, makes me laugh and pulls me back to wanting to score them incredibly high. (As I write this review, I am reminded of my conflict with this for the horrible, yet ingenious parody: Vampires Suck) I’m not the only one conflicted when it comes to movies like this as my friend Dan at Fogsmoviereviews.com has been known to give films TWO separate ratings from time to time! The following is my attempt to review this star-studded comedy in the same fashion as all other movies reviewed over the past 3 years.
This is the End is not the movie to go see with your grandma. Just in case you were thinking about taking her to see this…don’t. Not because she may or may not understand or even enjoy what is going on…but because you may end up feeling so uncomfortable either (1) because of what is said or taking place onscreen, or (2) because you want to laugh so much at what is said or taking place onscreen. It is graphic and it is not for family viewing.
Most movies…well, let’s just limit it to comedies, filled with so many stars end up ridiculously horrible. Movie 43 comes to mind immediately (read my review of that movie which claims the title as the ONLY movie that I ever walked out on HERE). The cast in this one, mostly comprised of the Judd Apatow/Pineapple Express crew, is so great in this film as they all play an exaggerated extension of their own selves and (1) aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves, (2) make us enjoy their making fun of their movies and each other and (3) act in ways that are familiar for most and fun for all as they fuse their personalities with their semi-fictitious characters.
Did you know?: According to IMDB, Seth Rogen stated “that at one point during production every main cast member took him aside and told him that they couldn’t do what he was asking them to because it was going too far and getting too extreme. James Franco was the only cast member that never turned anything down.”
Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Emma Watson (who filled in for a spot that was turned down by Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe) and small appearances by the likes of Michael Cera, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Mindy Kaling, Channing Tatum and more. So many stars and so many laughs. It must have been SUPER fun being on set making this movie!
I wanted to include some of the clips that made me laugh in this outlandish, over the top and, at times, raunchy comedy, but they were pretty NSFW (not safe for work) so I will let you look them up yourselves, but I couldn’t believe how many times I ended up cracking up over things like Jonah Hill waving a gun around, James Franco being what so many people kinda visualize him as, Seth Rogen taking hits over being the same in all of his roles, Craig Robinson taking flight, Hermione (Emma Watson) wielding an axe and more.
I realize this is less of a review and more of me just sharing my thoughts in a less than traditional “movie critic” fashion, but this movie perplexed me. I wanted to say it was stupid…but it’s really quite clever. It’s offensive at times, but not overly so. The message of friendship…true friendship…in the face of adversity shines through the darkness of this post-apocalyptic comedy in a completely unexpected way. And the laughs along the while…mostly adult in nature…are oddly appropriate given the characters played by the cast played by the characters. An over-abundance of debauchery, drunkenness, pot-smoking, sexually crude humor and a giant demon with less clothes on than Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. The movie is chock full of those “should I close my eyes?” moments, but it is also those moments that you just can’t help but to keep watching and laugh alongside everyone else in the theater next to you.
When you can’t pick out your favorite moment, or your favorite character, or your favorite movie reference, or your favorite line in a movie that you laughed at in numerous parts, that comedy succeeded in its goal. This Is The End did a good job with its parody/satire and made a look at the end times super unrealistic, yet hilarious. The moment you begin to take this one too serious is the moment you lose out on what makes it good. Perhaps This Is The End will be the beginning of better Judd Apatow-crew comedies down the line. Pineapple Express 2 anyone?
This Is The End (Score: 4/5) -I can’t believe I’m giving it this score. But it deserves it. It was just plain fun.
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 250 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: Trailer Time Thursday!