So, i usually write about 600-1200 words for a post. The longest post i’ve written on this blog is for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2 for the first obstructions (ironic isn’t it?), The Great Gatsby, and Cloud Atlas. For this month 5 obstruction blogathon, the instruction is to write a review of a film which consists of 1250 words (or 2000 words for the golden checkmark). So, without any prior planning, i started writing about The Internship after i saw the film yesterday, i did not expect to write a review that exceeds 1000 words, yet here it is. Update: I actually re-watch this film on the 12th and manage to add bits and pieces here and there, so be warned TL;DR 2000 words article ahead.
“We’re looking at somekind of mental Hunger Games against a bunch of genius kids for just a handfuls of jobs”
Bill McMahon (Vince Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Owen Wilson) found themselves out of their jobs as a salesperson, when the watch company they worked for went under. Apparently the market no longer has interest because the object that they’re selling is deemed too analog for the digital age. Loosing their footing at the age 40 is no picnic. A hopeless search for jobs for people with few skills did not bring the answer they needed. So the duo applied to a summer internship job at Google, hoping to defy the odds and prove that their skills are not yet obsolete. The only thing that stand in their way are the throng of tech-savvy geniuses who’s only half their age and know more things that they just did not even know exists. Can the two and their teams of misfits interns found their place where they belong?
As formulaic as it is expected, the film pretty much seemed, WYSIWYG buddy commedy, to borrow one of the jargon that were incomprehensible to both men on the film. Our two lead, Vaughn and Wilson reunites after the success of their sleeper hit, Wedding Crashers in 2005. Heck, even their poster are similar (the duo against the white background with typography). If you like the duo then, chances are you gonna enjoy this one too. You can expect wonderful quip from the two with excellent rally of back-and-forth conversations delivered through Wilson’s mellow, soft-speaking charm and Vaughn, well, being Vaughn. Granted, their jokes are very referential and slightly derivative from nowadays pop culture. But the two comedic pairing manage to make me LMFAO through out the films. (Is my use of jargon annoying already?)
Let’s be real, this is a massive advertisement for Google and perhaps several other products with the most mugging, blantant product placement and shameless marketing in a film. But don’t be offended, as the first song of the film should clue you in, isn’t this Ironic?
You might feel offended with all the googliness shoved down your throat, But i have to say the office of google is the most extreme environment to put the pair of old guys in. The two came from a sales job, which demand their social and people skill more than anything else, but it meant squat when you have to debug a computer and appear so clueless you don’t even know C++. Let’s be real, google itself is already a pop culture phenomenon, it has been adopted into a verb by the english language for crying out loud. You can substitute it with an imaginary tech company but it would lost some of its punchiness, since the strength of the references is what made the film works. If anything, google reference should make the film very accessible for international viewers. You just can’t get more global than that!
Yes, the film is chucked full of pop culture reference, from several awkward sex jokes (that none of the people in my theatre get), a jab to exchang-a-gram, tumblr culture and fandoms, Flashdance, Terminator franchise, X-Men, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, even Harry Potter-inspired athletic activities! And throw a bunch of jargon and reference only geeks and nerds can comprehend for good measures (raising own hand as a self proclaimed geek). The references are so wide apart, it should be able to bridge the generation gap. Drawing in both the digital immigrant and digital native generations. Although the success of the jokes sometimes rely on the knowledge of the viewer of the source materials as well.
Furthermore, these generations gap was emphasized as one of the character points out the significant shifts in the so-called American Dream. As one of the character points out the older generations have a certain set of life course, getting a job, settle down, the happily ever after type. But lets be real, with the economic instability we encounter nowadays everywhere across the globe the level of unemployment are higher, even those with good educations does not guarantee a job, even the job itself sometimes does not guarantee a financial security. But like Wilson said in the film, have we all turn into a cynic because of it? Maybe we are. I guess in a way i like the internship for that reason, to remind us to live and dream and be passionate about what we do.
The beginning was a bit hard to get into, as the backstory of the two lead were established through opinions of their families. Some of it were seemed force and seemed like an afterthought to enable audience to get what our leads’ background are. Even without the unnecessary family background i think i got the gists from the opening of the film instead. Wilson and Vaughn are a team, partners perhaps, but not quite share the same bromantic connection shared in their flick 8 years ago. The two were still good and deliver a charming comedic gags, just probably not as fresh as people expecting them to be. Along the two, there’s a tapestry of character that create a patchwork of stories around them. The intern program manager Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi) deliver a fresh straight-faced banter against Vaughn. Coming across as the stern boss even slightly antagonistic but never hateful. That was a good balance right there. The beautiful Rose Byrne as has a charming arc with Wilson, giving the film a tender romantic comedy edge. A little unnecessary if you ask me, but still quite entertaining, plus she did great in the film anyway :)
The band of misfits interns are led by 23 years old Googler, Lyle (Josh Brener), who i recognise from one The Big Bang Theory episode or two. Appeared as a geekier, bespectacled version of Jesse Eisenberg, with similar short clipped sentences and double dose of awkwardness. He has a crush on one of the google dance teacher, played by the stunningly beautiful Jessica Szohr, from Gossip Girl fame. Funny that this movie even have something to say about the TV show XD.
There were sterotypes represented by the rest of the gang that somehow very familiar to nowadays internet culture. Tiya Sircar is Neha, an epitome of tumblr fangirl who know everything yet haven’t done anything. Talk about all talk no action. Dylan O’Brien as Stuart, whose 4-eyed always glued to his 4 inch screen and fingers constantly tapping away. And home-schooled YoYo (Tobit Raphael) who was repressed and definitely have severe mother issues. The antagonist of the film is the snotty brit Graham (Max Minghella) is the epitome of douchebaggery. If there’s a checklist of movie douchebag out there, this guy definitely checked all the list. His performance seemed a little out of steam towards the end though, or may be i just found him a little repetitive and grew steadily tiresome. I wonder if he’s planning to get involved in all tech related flicks since he already involved in this and The Social Network previously. Hey maybe in a year or two there would be one called Twitter or Path or whatever the new, up and coming tech trends will be.
There’s a lot of positive vibe in The Internship. I think it reminds the young to be not so focused on their black mirrors while having your life going on before the little gadget in your hand. It reminded them to be a little more human and there are life beyond the web. (and considering the lifestyle of urban youth in Indonesia, i am 1000% encourage this message). It teaches the old to embrace and not to be afraid of change. The movie is a reminder how we still could not factor out human to human connection in our everyday lives.
Predictable up to the very end of the film, the whole story wrapped up in an (almost) deus ex machina conclusion. An impossible, unrealistic happily ever after for all the character (it even includes an unnecessary, borderline cheesy, end of film kiss). I feel it’s very sloppy outro, almost as if the writer just don’t know how to wrap up the film and just put a speedy and easy way to wrap everything up. I really wish there’s a little bit of grit at the ending. But you know what, sometimes it is okay to have an all around happy ending. It might not be sensible, but cinema does offer that sometimes. And for the type of film that is The Internship, i think this kind of endings would work in their favors. What a hell of a summer it was indeed!
Don’t walk out of the theatre just yet! No, there were no post credit scene whatsoever :D but the credit title, just before the credits roll, actually fun to watch as it is designed as if we interact with various google products and the best part, we actually can see the coveted exchange-a-gram on the line. Ha!
Despite a lot of hate the movie and google seemed to be getting from the film, i doubt that people will convert to another search engine just out of spite. Go ahead i dare you to do your searches on Bing. Critics comparison to The Social Network is just absurd, because there’s only two similarity the two shared: 1) it’s somewhat related to a tech-based company, 2) Max Minghella is a part of their cast.
Formulaic but with a squeeze of fresh twist, courtesy of the up-to-date google (hail all the marketing fad) and a handful of pop culture reference/ The Internship has been fun! Running on Wilson easy charm and his comedic banter with screen partner Vaughn. I was watching on a weekday with the theater only half full. But everyone seemed to enjoy the hilarity and gave that facilitative cinematic experience for me (Bandung viewers are fun to watch comedy with!). Go watch it and have fun. Do not over think!
I have one question remain, though: How come Wilson’s Nick Campbell know Hunger Games references yet clueless about X-Men and Harry Potter?
THE INTERNSHIP (2013)
DIRECTOR Shawn Levy | PRODUCER Shawn Levy, Vince Vaughn | WRITER Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern | MUSIC Christophe Beck | CINEMATOGRAPHER Jonathan Brown | EDITOR Dean Zimmermann | STUDIO Regency Enterprises, Wild West Picture Show Productions, 21 Laps Entertainment, Dune Entertainment | DISTRIBUTOR 20th Century Fox | COUNTRY United States | RELEASE June 7, 2013 | RUNNING TIME 119 minutes | BUDGET $58 million
STARRING Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, John Goodmann, Dylan O’Brien, Josh Brener, Tobit Raphael, Tiya Sircar, Aasif Mandvi, Will Ferrell, Jessica Szhor
LAST REMARKS. A lot of jabs has been given to the film for its commercial within the movie by Google, which is ironic. Geekwire chairman Jonathan Sposato, a 2-time former googler, enlightened us with his highly positive view of the film, of course drawing references from his own experiences. According to an article in Forbes, google did not pay for the film, although they did work closely to the film and graciously open their campus for the film, so this is not exactly the same case of Cast Away and FedEx. But just for the sake of entertaining yourselves, read the Forbes article to know what googlers really think about the film. Oh and count how many times google was mentioned in the film XD
(Last update: 2013.09.13)