Director: Shawn Levy (Real Steel, Date Night, Night at the Museum, The Pink Panther)
Screenplay: Vince Vaughn, Jared Stern
Producers: Shawn Levy, Vince Vaughn
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, Josh Brener, Dylan O’Brien, Tiya Sircar, Tobit Raphael
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 119 min.
It was only a matter of time before Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson ended up together again. The duo haven’t exactly been churning out the comedy hits over the last few years and though Wilson’s career has been far more sustainable than Vaughn’s, there’s been a lot of hit and miss from both actors and nothing either has done has brought them as much success as Wedding Crashers. It looks like that benchmark will remain unmatched for at least a while longer.
Vaughn and Jared Stern (of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and The Watch fame) team up to write The Internship, a fish out of water story about a pair of out of work friends who try to get a job at Google. It’s a great concept, not only are Billy and Nick (Vaughn and Wilson respectively) older than any other applicant (not to mention nearly every other Google employee), they’re also completely out of touch with technology guiding the way for potential hilarity. The friends are thrown together with a ragtag group of outcasts and after failing miserably to provide any sort of support to their team, they earn the group’s trust the only way they know how: by selling them dreams.
There are no new ideas in The Internship, from the central conceit that two clueless guys rally their team to possible victory, to the worn side plots which include various characters coming into their own, a romance and a rivalry with a group led by a pretentious asshole. Even the jokes are mostly old hat but somewhere along the line both Vaughn and Wilson mange to do something unexpected: they become real people rather than just caricatures and though they both occasionally relapse into man-child syndrome, they’re relatable as two guys who are completely out of their element but for whom this is the last real shot at success. It’s either this or selling scooters to the retired and moving in with your parents to stay afloat.