(PG-13 and Unrated)
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Vince Vaughn as BILLY MCMAHON
Owen Wilson as NICK CAMPBELL
Rose Byrne as DANA
Aasif Mandvi as MR. CHETTY
Max Minghella as GRAHAM HAWTREY
Josh Brener as LYLE
Dylan O’Brien as STUART
Tiya Sircar as NEHA
Tobit Raphael as YO-YO SANTOS
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Shawn Levy
BY KEVIN CARR
“The Internship” is one of those movies that holds up better on Blu-ray than it did in the theater. That’s not to say this is a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it just felt more accepting in a home theater setting than at a full-price, big-screen cinema. Also, all the boobs in the unrated version didn’t hurt the cause, either.
“The Internship” re-teams Vince Vaughn with Owen Wilson, years after they made comedy gold with “Wedding Crashers.” The result isn’t nearly as funny, but at least the chemistry the two have together gets them through the movie.
The story follows two salesmen whose jobs suddenly vaporized beneath them. Forced to enter the working world again with very few skills and in an entirely different existence, they stumble onto a summer internship at Google. While they’re more than twice the age of most of their fellow interns, they work to find their own place with the misfits. Learning the value of teamwork and having their eyes opened to the new world of technology, these fish out of water try to win an internship competition that guarantees a job placement at the internet giant.
Yeah, I’ve heard all the stories about how awesome it is to work at Google, and I’m sure the free lattes and bagels are hard to say no to. However, “The Internship” paints a schizophrenic picture about the Google culture. On one hand, it’s presented as almost like a summer camp for geeks, where work and play intertwine into a paradise. However, on the other hand, it’s also presented as a high-stress, high-stakes job where only the ones who work 14 hours a day really advance with their careers.
This is painted very nicely, but that message is there. I’m not bemoaning the loss of the standard 40-hour work week that my parents’ generation enjoyed. Instead, I’m bemoaning a possible loss of individuality where geek chic has become the new preppy, and social status is replaced by constant connectivity to everything. It’s truly a scary look into the future generation where there’s literally no way to disconnect from work.
Still, that’s getting deeper into the background of the film than it’s meant to be examined. More on the surface, “The Internship” is an unapologetic advertisement for Google, more so than even “Cast Away” was for FedEx or “You’ve Got Mail” was for AOL. The only thing missing here is Tom Hanks, and you’d have your perfect corporate puff piece disguised as a feature film.
Once you strip away all the push Googliness that is forced down the viewer’s throats, it’s a pretty standard fish-out-of-water story. Unfortunately, like Owen Wilson’s recent stinker “Hall Pass,” the fish shouldn’t be so clueless. While these two fortysomething guys might not know what cosplay is, they should totally know who Han and Luke are. And has the younger generation so co-opted my generation’s pop culture that they own the full knowledge of the X-Men, apparently unaware that the comic books existed for about four decades before the movies were made.
“The Internship” gets off to a really rocky start, with painfully forced scenes in which Vaughn does his fast-talking shtick a bit too much. However, when you get about half-way through the film, the character do tend to warm up a bit. Once you get past the film’s own pomp, the core of the story works to a degree with a bit of warmth to the ugly duckling nature of the characters. I didn’t hate “The Internship” watching it again on home video, and I even found myself chuckling a few times.
The Blu-ray comes with the PG-13 theatrical cut as well as the funnier and more profane unrated cut (which really only features a few more f-bombs and an alarming amount of bare breasts during a night club sequence). There’s also a slate of deleted scenes, a commentary and an overlong featurette about the planning and shooting of the Quidditch sequence. Unfortunately, for a movie that is so supposedly hip to technology, it doesn’t take much advantage of the Blu-ray capabilities afforded it.