If you were to run a search on Google for “Things That Were Funny 8 Years Ago”, you’d get the following results: George W. Bush meme’s, Star Wars Episode III jokes, and a few porn sites. What is missing would have to be the duo of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. I’m not denying Wedding Crashers was a great, raunchy comedy performed by a talented duo, but like disco music, it eventually got old and repetitive. The Internship plays like a Google recruitment ad if the ad were geared towards older, unqualified, inexperienced people who seem to have the technological prowess of a 90 year old.
We meet Billy McMahon (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Owen Wilson) past the peak of their careers and in the market for a new one. They have no real skills or talents, aside from the talent of bullshitting and selling. In this job market, only needing those skills to survive went the way of the door-to-door vacuum salesman. Naturally, they make the only logical choice and decide to apply to be interns at Google, where only a small percentage of people get hired. After an unfortunate series of events, and a terrible interview, they get hired and their real test begins.
This film is as predictable as it sounds, down to the feel-good moment where we realize that the men who went to learn ended up becoming the teachers. Awwwww, I mean, Yawwwwwn. All we really see are some aging actors whose shtick is so tired it’s basically comatose. The only redeeming quality are all the nerd references in the film, which I was one of three people who understood them judging by how few laughs they got. Many of the geek-reference jokes seemed dichotomous to humor you’d expect to see in this kind of film. Much of their target audience won’t understand the jokes, and the people who would understand it won’t be interested in seeing it.
One of the main problems I have with this film is that it sugar coats a very serious problem many people are currently facing: Unemployment. With the great influx of graduates with degrees flooding the job market, many people who had job security now find themselves out of a job and competing with younger people to get the same position. If you’re to listen to this film, all you have to do is apply to one place, get an internship and then you’ll be set. The people who have been through what I’m talking about will leave the film with a bad taste in their mouth. The last thing you want to do is alienate and audience who just finished sitting through an over-extended 2 hours’ worth of derivative, and often insulting, dribble.
Google, which more than lent its name to this film, did not take a backseat ride; the entity took the shape of those ads you see on every side of a webpage. The Internship, brought to you by Google Ads. This is either a brilliant form of product placement/integration/immersion or the worst that I have ever seen. The jury is still out on that, but Google was the obvious star of the film. By the end, I was emotionally invested in Google’s well-being and was drawn in by its natural charisma, two fronts where Vaughn and Wilson let me down. Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Insidious) as overworked, undersexed Google employee Dana Sims was a breath of fresh air in this stale, stuffy comedy.
The Internship’s many inherent problems, like the over-placement of Google’s logo, are too distracting to ignore. The story itself is a slap in to face to many people who are basically having their situation belittled on the big screen. All the nerd references in the world couldn’t save this tactless film. Your time would have been better spent on the Google website clicking on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
Rating: ★★ (2/10 stars)
In Theaters Now. You’ve been warned.