Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose lives are going exactly nowhere, as their youthful dreams have been crushed by the modern world. Then Billy hears about the Google Intern programme, which promises a lucky few a job at what many consider to be the best place to work in the world. Against all odds they get on the programme and find themselves surrounded by youngsters who know far more about technology than Billy and Nick (who know the grand total of nothing), but most of whom severely lack social skills.
The interns are split off into teams who must compete against each other in various tasks. At first Billy and Nick seem hopelessly out of their depth, and their team feels as if they’ve been given annoying dead weight. However as the weeks go bad, Nick and Billy realise they have a lot to learn about the digital age, while their team begin to recognise that their older brethren could be helpful too.
There was a lot of hope for The Internship, which reunites Wilson and Vaughn as co-leads for the first time since Wedding Crashers. While the chemistry between the two actors is alive and well, unfortunately the script is rather weak and confused. Like many comedies, it’s far too happy to contort the characters and situations in direction it thinks will make for a funny skit, but because it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the movie it doesn’t really work.
When it’s good, The Internship is excellent, and several sequences are very funny, but it’s surrounded by a lot of fluff and things that don’t make much sense or which seem to go against everything the rest of the film is attempting to say. It also doesn’t help that the movie feels like a very long advert for Google, although perhaps not a great one from the company’s perspective, as according to the movie that most of the people who work there are anti-social dicks.
The whole things works like a by-the-numbers bromantic comedy, which could easily have originally been written about two older guys forced to go back to high school, but with the addition of the word Google every 30-seconds. It’s never bad, but most of the time it’s not that great either, merely ambling along in a meandering fashion to a predictable yet slightly confused conclusion. It’s at least half an hour too long, and perhaps if it had been tightened up it wouldn’t have felt as pointless. There are certainly worse comedies out there, but by better using the charm of Wilson and Vaughn this could have been a lot better.
On the DVD the only special features are a fairly dull commentary with director Shawn Levy and a surprisingly interesting featurette focussing on the real-life Quidditch match in the movie (and yes, people really do play the wizard sport, despite muggles’ inability to fly).
Overall Verdict: A few funny sequences and chemistry from the leads can’t make up for an overly long, rather confused movie that can never quite decide what it exists for.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac