Movie Review: ‘Long Shot’
Director: Jonathon Levine
Cast: Charlize Theron, Seth Rogen, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., June Diane Raphael, Rabi Patel, Andy Serkis, Bob Odenkirk, Alexander Skarsgård
Plot: Charlotte Field is the Secretary of State and on the road to become the first female president of the United States. She hires a controversial journalist, Fred Flarsky, as a speech writer. The two begin developing feelings for one another and must consider the compromises they must make both romantically and politically to make things work.
Review: So what we have here is an odd couple romance against a modern political backdrop. What could possibly go wrong?
Long Shot immediately suffers from one of the biggest flaws with modern comedies, that the craft of film-making is sacrificed for simple, locked off shots of people talking to each other in the hope that they’d say something amusing. If you muted the dialogue you’d be hard pressed to correctly identify most films as a comedy these days and this is no less true here. Fortunately it’s the romantic plot that carries most of the movie rather than the comedy, and Rogen and Theron share enough good energy that we do wind up backing them.
It should be noted that if you are hoping for something with a political edge to it, the film is surprisingly toothless in this regard. Bob Odenkirk is the TV star turned narrow minded and uninformed Donald Trump stand in while Andy Serkis plays an amalgamation of Robert Murdoch and Steve Bannon as the cackling villain. That’s as far as it gets in terms of satire, this movie is pushing no envelopes. With an opening scene of Seth Rogen infiltrating a Neo-Nazi gang we were expecting more comedy to be along these lines, but I guess we don’t want to upset anyone. You’d think a movie that features Seth Rogen ejaculating onto his own face would be so prudish.
This all sounds very negative, but once the initial set-up was out of the way and the story picked up the pace things did get more enjoyable. A recurring gag about a pair of sexist news anchors was right on the money. The banter between Theron and Rogen is plenty of fun and it helps sell them as a couple. It’s unchallenging but effective fun.
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN.