Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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The Internship

Film #340


Two salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital age find their way into a coveted internship at Google, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a shot at employment.

Year 1, Day 340

BEFORE: As the movie marathon is winding down, it seems like advanced screenings are picking up. Back in the theater again for the second time this week, The Internship takes the screen. It features the duo of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn (last seen together in Wedding Crashers) as interns at Google.

AFTER: First off, congratulations to the security guards with the metal detectors. You finally caught people entering with phones (myself included). I was going to write this opening paragraph at how stupid (understandable, but stupid) this procedure is, but that was actually surpassed by something that is far worse. For the first time since I’ve been going to screenings, they actually let people in after the screening started. Not only is this something that should never be permitted, but I’m especially surprised that the studio would allow this for an advanced screening.

But I digress, time to talk about the actual film. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. Sure I thought it would be funny and to take a look inside Google (where my brother now works) would be fascinating. Well suffice it to say, The Internship blew me away, albeit with a few caveats.

Beginning to end wasn’t all laughs, but a good majority of it was. And a lot of that is thanks to the wonderful duo that is Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson). The chemistry they have together and the influence they have over the other characters is astounding. Here the back-and-forth, with some possible improv, never seems boring or drawn-out. Many of the jokes may take a while to get to the punchline, or be done a lot (“on the line” comes to mind), but they remain funny. As a team, Billy and Nick work well together, and a lot of the humor comes out of them just being their selves. The comedy also extends to the supporting characters and the great dynamic between the old and the new. While some characters could stand by themselves - Yo-Yo being chief among them - I feel a lot of the comedy from the other interns works because of Billy and Nick’s presence.

Another area of comedy in the film is also the one of the most interest and that is Google. Setting the film in one of most-recognizable companies, and a place often cited as the best place to work, opens the door for curiosity and the exploitation of that curiosity. I haven’t, yet, visited the campus myself but I’m aware - as I’m sure a few others are as well - of some of the many perks and quirks to Google. Things like the free food (every 100 feet I might add), a plethora of recreational activities like volleyball and nap-pods, and of course, the extremely geeky employees. I found myself laughing most at these things. Billy’s obsession with the pudding and salsa, Nick interrupting someone’s nap-time, and the numerous programming references like C++ and EMACS. Again, laughs weren’t constant, but they were certainly plenty, and the jokes that are made, had me laughing hard.

Now onto those caveats I mentioned. A lot of my minor annoyances came with the attention to detail, or the apparent lack of it. Little things like a library with no noise restrictions or an apparent lack of organization at the introductory seminars (not a lack of, merely not the extremely detailed itinerary I would expect from Google). But the biggest thing has to be their depiction of Quidditch. Now this could just be the result of living with a suite full of Quidditch-players last year and actually knowing a bit about how the game is played, but if they went part-way with the accuracy, they could have ensured that every detail was right. They called “brooms-up” but they never released the snitch before play started. There were also only two bludgers (instead of the three used in Muggle Quidditch) and only one referee (as opposed to a whole crew - I don’t know them all). Also, being hit by a bludger didn’t seem to have any consequence, no running back to your hoops as a penalty, you just kept trucking on. But most importantly, and most relevant to the plot, was the snitch grab. Now I understand the reasoning behind it (it’s similar to the idea that Jack must drown in Titanic because that’s what the script says no matter what science says). But the snitch didn’t attempt to prevent the seekers from grabbing the snitch - something they are supposed to aggressively do - but the actual grab came after the snitch had fallen to the ground which, I believe, is a bad grab.

I digress, again. The point is, The Internship is a great and funny film that is chock full of great stuff. Google-specific you have things like their autonomous car, the Android logo signifying the bathrooms, and a cameo appearance by co-founder Sergey Brin (I didn’t see Larry Page, but I could have missed him). General geek and tech-related gems include X-Men, Instagram, Ubuntu distros, and my personal favorite, a Game of Thrones reference at the end with one of the characters saying “My Khaleesi” (I am not ashamed to have been the only personal laughing hysterically at that joke in the theater). What I’m finding difficult is my final judgement. During the film I thought it was great but not really that spectacular. Then as I was waiting for the T, I started to laugh again and thought The Internship was just brilliant. But now, after having written this review, I think I’m leaning towards a solid four-stars. This is a great film that I highly recommend you go see - it’s totally worth seeing while in theaters - but it does have some minor problems and while very funny, isn’t the funniest film I’ve seen (I laughed much more during The Kings of Summer earlier this week). But again, I still recommend you see this, and for Quidditch players out there, you may want to not pay attention during the game.

The Internship opens in theaters this Friday, June 7, 2013.

RATING: 4 out of 5