What can I say? You see a film advertised with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and if you don’t know what you’re going to get going in, you haven’t been paying attention to cinema the last decade. And in that respect, The Internship doesn’t disappoint. Of course, that same reasoning can also be used to explain why the film did poorly at the box office and is getting a paltry 6.4 rating on IMDB and a piss poor 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is NOT a film for anyone looking for deep meaning, clever dialogue or twisty, complicated plot lines. Instead, this is a film for people who want to spend a couple of hours out of the heat, watching characters you know do what’s expected of them and everyone comes out exactly where they’re supposed to be by the end.
Director Shawn Levy, who started his career doing Disney TV, has a features resume filled with nice but innocuous films (Night at the Museum 1&2, Date Night, Real Steel), films you forget while walking to the parking lot, but at least they’re films you could take the family to see.
With The Internship, everything is true to form. Vaughn’s character is the loser who always manages to screw things up (but you know he’ll come through in the end) while Wilson is the lovable doofus who will get the girl and be the rock which maintains the emotional core of the movie. The two of them are dinosaurs in the new high tech world, losing their sales jobs in the first 5 minutes and then having to figure out how they fit in to the new modernity. As can be expected, a number of jokes follow, the kind which your parents or grandparents have made when trying to comprehend things “on the line” (or online as the case may be). There’s also the standard generational gap 80s vs today comparisons and many pop culture references abound (including, yes, a Quidditch match). By the end, the two “old guys” have learned their own lessons and also taught their team valuable lessons about life and standing up for what’s important. Like I said, this isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s a fun, easy film which mindlessly entertains – in short, it does exactly what the filmmakers intended.
As a bonus, there’s a fun Lithuanian shout out when Will Ferrell (who has lost whatever funniness he once possessed) refers to Vaughn as a “scary, 7 foot Lithuanian basketball player.”