Crash and reboot – The Internship review

The Internship

By Jess Lomas
June 11, 2013

The dynamic teaming of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson helps The Internship scrape by as an enjoyable comedy, although we’d be reluctant to offer it a full time job. It’s surprising to realise eight years have passed since their last hilarious collaboration, Wedding Crashers. This time around, slightly older but not much wiser, they play whizz salesmen Billy McMahon (Vaughn) and Nick Campbell (Wilson).

Despite giving the appearance of being good at what they do, when their employer closes the business, they are left destitute. Nick starts working in his sister’s boyfriend’s mattress store, while Billy’s house goes into foreclosure and his girlfriend leaves him. Having hit rock bottom and with zero knowledge of how to search for employment, Billy turns to Google and ends up submitting an internship application for himself and Nick. After stumbling through an online interview they find themselves amongst a crop of America’s brightest young college graduates in a “mental Hunger Games,” where they must compete to earn a full time position with the company.

The Internship

Billy and Nick’s total lack of computer skills find them relegated to the rejects group, made up of Yo-Yo (Tobit Raphael), Neha (Tiya Sircar), Stuart (Dylan O’Brien), and Lyle (Josh Brener). Their arch enemy is preppy stereotype Graham (Max Minghella); full of his own self importance and assured of success, he makes it his mission to take Billy and Nick down. Even the program leader Mr. Chetty (Aasif Mandvi) seems unimpressed with the unlikely pair. They stay true to their mission, however: to prove they can reinvent themselves later in life, and remind that the best lessons can’t be taught in a classroom or through a computer.

The premise is actually clever, with plenty of opportunities for “dad jokes” based on technological misunderstandings; Billy’s continual use of “on the line” instead of “online” a fine example. Unfortunately, screenwriters Vaughn and Jared Stern, as well as director Shawn Levy, lose control of a tight concept, letting the feature and its jokes run excessively long. At times there are too many storylines to follow, each character having a potential love interest or adversity to overcome. Rose Byrne as Nick’s potential partner seems an obligatory addition.

Beyond the initial setup, the film is largely unimaginative. Thankfully the handful of riotous moments and the likeability of the leads supersede the shortcomings, making it easy to get swept up in the unadulterated silliness of The Internship.

3/5

The Internship arrives in Australian cinemas June 13, 2013.

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