'The Internship' Review: Vince Vaughn's Comic Bravado Makes Workplace Comedy Click

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made a strong team in the 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers. They invaded nuptial ceremonies together, partied together and took on false personalities together.

In The Internship, the two have invaded a new world: the offices of Google. Here again, they spend much of their time pretending to be something that they are not: computer whizzes. In this story, the two immature adults have been hired as interns at the giant company, where they are constantly forced into situations where they must pretend to know what they are doing.

The story starts with Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) realizing that their jobs at salesmen at a local watch company have disappeared. They discover this, oddly enough, at a meeting with a potential client who nails them with the grim news. The two aging gents, who have few computer skills on their resume, eventually find their way into internships at Google for which they are clearly not suited.

They don’t know coding, they don’t understand technology and they don’t realize how tough the competition for a potential job at the company will be.

The comedic set-up is a solid one as the two men are forced to compete—on a Google internship team—against fierce opponents half their age. All of the members on the most successive internship crew will be guaranteed jobs at the end of the summer. Of course, Billy and Nick’s team is packed with outlasts and socially-underdeveloped supporting characters.  

The focus on these teammates undermines the first half of the story because when they are teamed up with  Billy and Nick, they are incredibly nasty. We realize that the team will eventually coalesce but for the first forty-five minutes of insults, cold looks and lunch table antics, it’s hard to look at their cruel teammates in anything other than a negative light.

In addition to their mean-spirited teammates, the odds are stacked against Billy and Nick from the beginning. They are, after all, older interns in a computer-savvy world where youthful energy and idealism is cherished. Graham (Max Minghella), the leader of a rival internship group, becomes their main adversary in the competition. Alongside that storyline about the competition is a slight story where Nick spends his time courting a Google employee (Rose Byrne), who has spent much of her life at the office or sleeping in the Google nap room.

If you’ve seen a previous film starring Vaughn or Wilson, you probably know where this solidly safe story is going. Aside from a few potty jokes and an oddly out-of-place journey to a strip club, the film never strays from its simple formula.

That being said, it’s hard not to appreciate the talent that went into this project, especially Vaughn. With his goofy looks and charismatic charm, the actor fights eagerly for every laugh he receives. It’s easy to admire his tenacity and spirit in a film and with a script that does him few favors.

The Internship is worth a few chuckles along the way but never tries to be anything better than that. It stands on the merits of its two leads and works predominantly because of Vaughn himself. The film lacks surprises and great humor but it’s funny enough to merit a recommendation. Don’t go into the theater with high hopes and The Internship won't let you down.


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