The Internship – 2/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

googleThe Internship – 2/5 – There isn’t much I am going to say in this prologue.  There isn’t any big explanation or metaphorical talk I can say for this film, one way or another.  The only thing I can say is that, when you’re intent on being a comedy, you should make me laugh.  The Internship is a mixture of rehashed material, stale comedy, saturated into a lukewarm feel good drama hidden in a big advertising of Google.

Premise: Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have disappeared because of the digital world. Trying to prove they can still work in this new hi-tech game, they defy the odds by getting an internship at Google.  Now that they have made the first step, they must compete with a group of the most tech-savvy geniuses to prove that perseverance really is the mother of re-invention.

In the main roles of Billy and Nick, we have comedic buddies Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.  Most the time, even in semi decent comedies, I would let their ‘typecast’ of these two individual slide behind the curtain.  In this film, you can’t really let it slide because; their shtick, in this film, has become saturated and is overplayed to many times throughout this movie.  Watching them on screen is like watching people trying to retrieve an old flame.  They aren’t good in the characters they are trying to create, because it is the same thing you’ve seen time and time again.  At times, they have funny one-liners and situations, but there isn’t anything that creates the allure of attachment or entertainment.  When it comes to the supporting cast, they are as much common figures as the next ‘feel good’ comedy you’ll find in these guys back catalogs.  You have the typical misfits, the common ‘asshole’ antagonist, the overseeing but stern figurehead and all quick ‘cameo’s’ that tries to draw on the aspect of being funny or witty.  The actors give us one-dimensional people with no course of being developed.  This causes the comedy to be formulaic and predictable.

When it comes to the direction of the film, it is a mixture of buddy comedy with a feel good drama.  From the beginning, you have Billy and Nick, who are out of a job when the company they work for closes up shop.  We are then introduced to subplots of ‘character development’ for Nick and Billy, which becomes just an inserted plot device of making their lives unsurprisingly ‘dire’.  These subplots don’t even figure into the bigger story, making it seem like a distraction then a functional part of plot development.  Once you get past this pseudo conflict of personal struggle, they find the internship program for Google.  They get invited to the Google campus, and they are teamed up with ‘outcast’, which are then tasked (for the summer) to complete challenges as if they worked for Google.  From this point of the film, it becomes a gallery of the overused element of ‘underdog verses extreme odds’.  In these odds, you get the common archetype ‘asshole’ competitor(s), and staged scenarios that lead to the obvious ‘feel good’ ending.  Here, we get the following stages placed in the ‘feel good’ drama with layered comedic elements.  Below is how the direction follows an unoriginal path:

First stage: Dysfunction team loses first story challenge

Second stage: Team recovery, learn about themselves

Third stage: Redemption road, team comes together

Fourth stage: ‘Shocking’ twist, common ‘there’s no hope’ flaw

Fifth stage: Epiphany moment, Flaw liberation, happy ending

A movie can go down a traditional ‘feel good’ drama road, and still be good.  Even if a film is unoriginal, it can still entertain.  The problem with this film is that, even when they use common film techniques and situational struggles that are prevalent in other films of this type, there isn’t any strength to the dramatic struggles or comedic situations that are supposed to be funny, or at least entertaining.  On top of this, each person has a flaw that is touched upon, but is wrapped up quickly with no explanation, adding another ‘why’ moment as to everything that is already going on.  There is another subplot of a ‘love story’ with Nick and a Google manager, which just becomes another distraction from the overall story.  The predictability factor of the film drags it down, causing a lack of any kind of engaging moments.  You want to laugh and root for the misfits, but you just can’t muster any kind reaction watching the film.  There aren’t any real spoilers in the above explanation of the shallow directional path because, you see it a mile away within the first few minutes of the film.

The one good thing about the film is that it gives a good complexion to how and what makes ‘Google’.  From the building and the structural environment, to the fashion of the clients, workers, you get an overall feel that this place is cool and serene.  The quality of this helps create a vibrant sensation that compliments the lack there of with all the other parts of the film.

Overall, The Internship is a predictable, stale rehashing of comedy that has been seen time and time again.  This time, the ‘feel good’ drama and comedy is hidden in the cover of being an intern at Google.  If you’re a fan of either two actors, I would say check this out as a Matinee, nothing more than that.

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