Movie Review: ‘The Internship’
If you judged The Internship by its run of the mill trailer, and figured it was just an advertisement for Google, well you would not be wrong. But that isn’t the entire picture. The film does have the word Google in it more than you’d care to hear or see, and it’d make for a drinking game that would no doubt send you to the hospital, but it actually has a few things going for it. I was surprised to find the film actually had heart, and using Google as a plot device wasn’t the worst idea. Yes we have seen this film before, change the location and names of course, it really isn’t anything new. It does not stop it from being a decent comedy and an enjoyable film.
Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are two salesmen who are great at their job, but the company they work for isn’t making money and gets closed. The digital age has taken over, and the men are out of work. Billy gets the idea to rebuild their careers from the ground up and secures them an interview for a potential internship at Google. Nick is hesitant but agrees. Before they know it, Google has taken a chance on them and they are competing in groups with a bunch of young adults for the internships. Their team is full of misfits, and their biggest competition is led by Graham (Max Minghella), a young man determined to secure the job. Will Billy and Nick learn the ways of the new and get their team on the same page? I am sure you know the answer.
The Internship is a relatively safe film, our main characters are rather likeable and the humour isn’t overly offensive. It is clichéd to the max, we know exactly what is going to happen from the get go. While predictability isn’t a bad thing in this case, it would have been nice if we had surprises. Billy and Nick are not difficult characters to analyse. They begin to understand that they need to change in order to succeed. They have to get with the times, and they certainly strive for that. Embracing technology is something that does happen, and understanding the younger generation is their game. Of course they are outcasts. They are dinosaurs to these kids but their goals are the same. So it’s natural they’ll begin to get along.
The film has its heart in the right place. You are never too old to succeed or strive for your dreams. You shouldn’t give up when the times are tough and age doesn’t need to come between friends or colleagues. The main issue is it doesn’t aim too high, and I think if it did take risks it would have been a far better film. There are laughs (the riskiest of them were a few fat jokes that don’t work; and why should they?), and there are many enjoyable scenes – the highlight being the Quidditch game. There is a romance thrown in and it is fine, it was developed more than I expected it to be. A strength here is with the characters and their development, it is the best thing the film has going for it and the quest for the internship isn’t so much.
Casting wise, I think everyone was quite good. Vince Vaughn has taken a step in the right direction, he’s far better here than he was in The Dilemma and I would assume his experience with that actually had him toned down. Billy is a nice guy, he’s good to be around. Vaughn is actually charming and, despite his set backs with people, he doesn’t treat them poorly. Owen Wilson is his usual lovely self. Nick is a cool character and someone else I had no issue being around. Together the pair share the natural chemistry that really made Wedding Crashers work.
The real star of the film is Max Minghella (son of the late great Anthony Minghella and co-star in The Social Network). His villainous role is paper thin but he really brings something special to it. He elevated a role that otherwise might not have stood out, and he plays douche really well. Our band of misfits were really enjoyable. Team leader Lyle (played by Josh Brener) was cute and played the part. Yo-Yo (played by Tobit Raphael) was perhaps our weirdest one, but he gave us a character who grew through the film. Neha (played by Tiya Sircar) was our female of the group and she held her own really well. My favourite was probably Stuart (played by Dylan O’Brien) who was our cynical and nasty one. His character has a lot of growth and he was good in the role. Rose Byrne was fine as the love interest. She faired so much better here than in the offensive I Give It A Year.
This isn’t a bad film, nor is it a really good one. It’s above average and I had a good time with it. There was potential for it to be better than it was, however director Shawn Levy and co-writer Vince Vaughn decided to play it safe. I had a few laughs, I smiled at the end and I felt fine. One of the themes of the film was to take risks and it is a shame the film itself failed to do that. However, I do commend Vaughn and Wilson for a) playing their age and b) playing to their strengths, it works well for this. The Google issue gets annoying. It could have easily have been a made up company. I think the decision to use it was one to appeal the audience and product placement doesn’t hurt the budget either. This is a film that could go either way for audiences. For me, personally, I didn’t mind it at all.