Much like 'The Wedding Crashers,' there's potential for a successful comedy involving Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. And just like the last time the two were together, we get a bland paint-by-the-numbers comedy that provides only a couple of predictable laughs and lacks any real entertainment that lasts more than a couple of seconds. Not making the situation any better, this comedy has a PG-13 rating in order to bring in a broader family friendly audience, and the entire movie feels like an ode to Google, more than a comedy.
Wilson and Vaughn play virtually the same characters they do in a every movie, and here they even seem to be the exact same character, with no differentiating characteristics. Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) have been salesmen all of their lives, selling watches, scooters, and mattresses to name a few. But when their boss (John Goodman) informs them that the high-end watches they're selling are being phased out due to new technology and more people using their smart phones to check the time, the two are fired and are referred to as dinosaurs in a quick changing technological universe.
For no reason whatsoever, the two apply to be interns at Google, which might lead to a permanent job at the mega corporation. In an awkward but sincere interview, the two land an internship for the summer at Google’s campus, despite their lack of knowledge in anything to do with computers or the internet. They're clearly the oldest people in the room by over two decades, and they're hoping that with the younger generation’s tech savvy education and skills, and their old school abilities to sell and lead, just maybe they have a chance to start over late in life. Even though the odds are against these two from the start, the film's incredible predictability will instantly tell you how this will end.
All of the interns are divided into groups for the summer to learn and compete in challenges ranging from tech support, to creating an app, to even a quidditch match. Nick and Billy are paired up with a few other young adults, who are all very smart and at the top of their classes in school, but lack social skills. Much like Nick and Billy’s characters, these new partners are one note as well. I hoped for deeper characters here, as well as roles that didn’t seem to be redundant.
The band of misfits that form the team are Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), the above it all hipster, Yo-Yo Santos (Tobit Raphael), the smart Asian kid with stern parents, Neha (Tiya Sircar), the only female in the group who is a fan-girl of all things sci-fi and anime, and Lyle (Josh Brener), the team leader who has worked for Google for four years and guides the team in the right direction, but lacks confidence. These actors play their parts perfectly and are fun to watch on screen, but with what they were given, their characters can only go so far. Meanwhile, Graham (Max Minghella). a British student who is incapable of any type of friendship and seems to step on and belittle everyone he can, is the villain. His over-the-top performance is annoying, but effective and he'll stop at nothing to defeat our team of misfits. Rose Byrne plays the love interest for Wilson, which doesn’t come easily, and Will Ferrell, Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, Aasif Mandvi, and Gary Anthony Williams all turn in small and forgettable cameos.
Vaughn and Wilson do a great job of improvising with one another and providing their same brand of humor from film to film. The script however limits their ability to really go the extra mile and break off into something different and original. Director Shawn Levy, whose biggest projects were the 'Night at the Museum' films panders to, er...showcases Google perfectly. The rich primary colors constantly surrounding the building, with multi-story slides, nap pods, and comfy couches are very appealing to the eye.
The story and message itself are solid, but the execution is lacking. There are no twists and turns you can't see coming from ten miles away, and its comedy well runs dry as we have seen all of this time and time again. Save this flick for a rental as the only truly remarkable part of it was the creative end credit sequence. If you choose to play the Unrated version, you'll be treated to quite a bit of nudity during one of the scenes, assuming that's your thing.
'The Internship' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The detail of the image is very sharp and provides a surprising amount of depth, especially in the exterior shots of California. Closeups reveal fine textures in the actor's faces and stitching in the costumes. Colors pop off screen, specifically when we are on the Google campus, with all the primary colors bright and full.
However, there are a few scenes, specifically in low lit interior shots, where the colors are not well saturated, and colors look a little fuzzy. Black levels run deep and inky, and skin tones look natural and smooth. There was no evidence of banding or aliasing either. And even during the sporting event, there was no motion blur either. This is a great video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and it sounds very good, yet it doesn't quite blow you away. Maybe it's because it's just a simple comedy, however, I didn't quite feel fully immersed in anything, with the exception of one scene, which is the night club sequence. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand, and is well balanced on the center speaker. I wish there was a little more directionality though in more of the film, rather than a couple of scenes.
The surrounds do get a little action, but not as much as they should. For example, when Owen and Vince enter Google's building, I expected the surrounds to be full of people chattering and working, but only a little action pours through the rears. Only at the night club scene and the sporting event is when things kick into a higher gear. The LFE is great and well balanced, and the dynamic range is fairly wide.
'The Internship' is a dull comedy with great talent. It's a by the books film with no real life to it. The video presentation is top notch, while the audio sounds decent enough. The extras are about average here too. It's not the best film, but some of you might enjoy it. I'd rent this well before even considering a purchase.