One can only imagine what the executive meeting must be like in conceptualising this – Google honchos meet with Hollywood moguls, discussing a high-powered movie merger that would send Apple into the dust, a corporate comedy that would capitalise on the success of those guys from that really very funny Wedding Crashers. It’s been a while since they’ve worked together. They’ll have fun with this. Plus, it’s good for Google. And for everyone involved. It’s going to be a box-office hit. Who on Earth doesn’t know Google except North Korea? Everyone else in the globe will see movie. Boom! Deal signed. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are now employed again – and et voila, we have the potential comedy gold that is The Internship.
Turns out they’ve forgotten to put actual subversive jokes to laugh to. All we get is essentially a two-hour corporate product-placement masquerading as a triumphalist, against-all-odds competition movie featuring underdog interns who all must overcome differences and unite to win what this film presupposes as the world’s Best Internship Programme. Brought to you by Google, of course. And we’re supposed to fully accept without any leap of logic that two redundant fortysomething ex-watch salesmen refuse to apply for ‘normal’ sales jobs despite their field experience and instead opted for this internship and get to rub elbows with 20-year old graduates. That’s because if they didn’t, there’ll be no movie to make. And it’s not my intention of being ageist, everyone needs to have a bloody chance, but does Google ever have an age-bracket for their internship programme? Apparently not. And so we are put through a terrible concept of Vaughn and Wilson lying their way through a webcam interview in a kindergarten library, despite Vaughn actually possessing a PC at home, having looked up Google in the first place – but no, for gag’s sake, they set it up in a fucking library with kids running around.
It gets worse. No sooner than they got accepted at the internship preliminaries the film unmask even more of its tired, miserable contrived face. Cue The Breakfast Club convergence of misfits half-wittedly lumbering through competition stages as exciting as chewing your own fingernails, decidedly inserting halfway a Quidditch match set-piece just in case you’re bored the fuck out of your wits watching a bunch of code-happy stereotypes banging on about apps and algorithms. Vaughn and Wilson drift through the plot conventions. Damn, they could even sleepwalk through this, desperately heaving up a message movie about inter-generational education – the older ones teaching the brats to loosen up, get away from computer screens and live life. Only they’ve completely ignored the fact that this has been told only a fifty thousand times before. Not a spoiler – they win the internship programme (this movie is not centred around Vaughn and Wilson for nothing), but only seemingly. See that kitsch closing shot – everything is all well when you sell your soul to corporations who dominate the world, because you’re nothing if you don’t.[separator type=”space”] DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy | CAST : Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella | SCREENPLAY: Vince Vaugn. Jared Stern | PRODUCER: 20th Century Fox | RUNNING-TIME: 119 mins | GENRE: Comedy | COUNTRY: USA