This new Shawn Levy comedy, reuniting Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, starts off well as an intuitive and often funny satire of our Google-run lives but ends up becoming a bit of a drag. The timely first act features our two buddies made redundant due to the rise of technology. They try to land jobs via a summer internship at one of the biggest companies on the planet. Yes, this is, in a way, Google: The Movie.
The film would have worked a bit better if it dared to address some of the more subversive and illegal activity Google has been guilty of. Sadly, though predictably, it’s quite obvious that everything in the movie is checked and double checked by the company to make sure it presents them as a cool, colourful place to work that helps make the lives of their users and employees better than they were before. They watch. They record. They catalogue. And now they are in the movies you watch.
The comedy side of things squanders its initial signs of potential and starts feeling forced. It’s as if Vaughn and Owen are doing parodies of their once-amusing selves. There is also a ridiculously extended and depressing scene at a night-club where the movie glorifies excessive alcohol consumption and treats the objectification of women with a vile and casual flippancy. It ends up feeling ugly and downright pernicious.
Other areas of humour covered are sex-slave restraint fantasies, child abuse and self-harm. As I’ve said before, daring humour can work, but it can also very easily come over as desperate, pathetic and cruel. It soon becomes quite clear which side of the line this movie falls.
The Internship (2013), directed by Shawn Levy, is released in cinemas in the UK by Twentieth Century Fox, Certificate 15.