'The Internship' review: Not worth the hire
Facebook had 'The Social Network' ... and Google gets this unfunny, two-hour commercial.
In short: two out-of-work middle-aged men (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) jump start their careers by taking an internship at Google. A lucky few interns can earn a job offer at Google if they win enough team challenges. (watch the trailer)
'The Internship' has three enormous problems: 1) it's a commercial for Google, 2) almost every joke is shallow and 3) much of the dialogue feels like placeholder lines in a rushed first draft script.
The film, in general, makes little sense. First, and foremost, why Google would accept two guys who barely know how to work a webcam undermines the movie's meager credibility.
Apparently there's some sort of competition between teams for jobs at Google - but only a vague outline of the rules are explained. This results in decreased story tension, making it hard to care about anything that happens because why many plot points matters is pretty unclear. When the rules are ambiguous or you don't know them, it's hard to care about the competition - be it football, ice skating or a Google internship.
Then there's the issue that each of the contests is tailor made for this overall predictable film: if Vaughn/Owen's team is supposed to win, then of course they get a softball of a contest. If the story clearly calls for them to fail, then they get a daunting task.
Exactly why the film has two protagonists is questionable. There's very little difference between Vaughn or Owen's characters - they could have very easily been morphed into one stronger character.
Great comedy comes from honest character interaction or situation reaction - 'The Internship,' however, opts for timely 'Terminator,' 'Flash Dance,' 'Harry Potter' and Alanis Morissette gags. While some subtle jokes land really strong, most of the obvious punchlines are not more substantial than 'Come on bro, fist me - get up in there.'
When the script calls for Vaughn and Owen to inspire and motivate their team, the script reads like a series of motivational posters. Most of the dialogue is a string of tired aphorisms about 'not giving up' and 'chasing your dream.' While on the subject of a sheer lack of creativity, the overall story is predictable to a fault. Two fun, free-wheeling old guys (who know nothing about computers) have to work with a group of uptight, eccentric computer nerds/outcasts - and they 'change' each other in every predictable manner.
So, besides being unoriginal and unfunny, 'The Internship' is also a 120-minute long commercial for all things Google. Long clips of this movie could be re-purposed as ads for such 'great' services as Google maps, Google+ hangouts and Google Street View. This is often distracting and these shameless plugs rarely feel organic/necessary to the narrative.
The only part of 'The Internship' that works is the pure likability of Vaughn and Owens. They are lovable and easy to root for, despite their utter lack of skills.
Final verdict: While not offensively terrible, the number of people who find 'The Internship' absolutely hysterical probably equals the number of people who actively use WebCrawler.